The community initiative launched in Kinsale, Co Cork, aims to reduce unnecessary plastic use and increase recycling rates as part of an ambitious drive to eliminate single-use.
The brainchild of archaeologist Madeleine Murray and environmental scientist Tara Shine, the Plastic Free Kinsale project will host its first public event, a recycling workshop, on Thursday.
Ms Shine said some plastic is unavoidable but they hope the initiative will reduce usage of plastic packaging — especially single-use plastic items.
“We all see the plastic washed up on our beaches and get frustrated with the amount of plastic packaging we end up with when we do our shopping,” she said.
“Hopefully Plastic Free Kinsale can help to empower more of us to make a difference through our actions.”
Ms Murray said they hope to play a small part in making sustainability smarter and more convenient.
“We are giving the right information in a user-friendly way. It is great to see the positive reactions we are getting around the town and further afield,” she said.
The town’s plastic-free initiative was launched after a focus group of local householders and businesses who said they wanted to reduce waste and live healthy, sustainable lives, but felt overwhelmed and frustrated by the information available around recycling options.
The campaign, targeting homes, business, clubs and schools, offers three simple tips on how each can reduce their plastic waste.
Workshops, presentations, beach cleans and family events will be organised throughout the year.
Ireland is one of Europe’s top five producers of plastic waste — producing 61kg per person, per year. China, which accepted 95% of Ireland’s plastic for recycling in 2016, has signalled that it will no longer accept our waste.
Thursday’s workshop takes place at the Kinsale Friary at 7.30pm.
You can find out more
about the initiative on