Cut the local residents cut the plastic in order to keep the Boyne fresh

Cut the local residents cut the plastic in order to keep the Boyne fresh

Less than a third of Ireland’s plastic packaging waste is recycled, according to the latest figures from the Environment Protection Agency.

It also found that the recycling rate of packaging waste will drop by 4% by 2021.

On the banks of the River Boyne, Co Meath, plastic packaging waste is a problem that won’t go away.

James Murray is the owner of Boyne Valley Activities, located along the river. He said plastics should be collected regularly.

“We are always in the water every time we see that a lot of garbage enters the river, and we clean it regularly in clean towns,” he said.

“We keep it as clean as we can, but the issue is that everything gets blown into the river no matter how it gets in, people don’t throw it directly into the water, it gets blown in bins, so it seems to end up in the water.” the river ends in the sea.

“The plastics used are just shocking, we were talking about them here and here at the coffee dock, it will be difficult to get them out, there are plastics and packages around everything but us. it has to start somewhere else,” Murray added.

Speaking to RTÉ’s This Week programme, Mr Murray said he had banned single-use plastics from the workplace and coffee shop.

Michael Breen and James Murray

“It made a huge difference to the bins straight away. If they weren’t here we couldn’t put them in the bins,” Mr Murray said.

The amount of plastic packaging waste has prompted the people of Trim to form the ‘Plastic Sick Group’.

“We set it up this summer in response to real concerns about the level of single-use and disposable plastic we’re making,” said Michael Breen, chairman of the Plastics Sick group.

“There was a clean up here last weekend involving Trim Tidy Tows and other local groups.

“They do it regularly by the river and they pick up a few bags of rubbish, drink and food cans, packets and things like that.

“It usually eats mainly packages of food and drinks. I know that they come back with, after a few hours, 15 full bags of garbage.”

Mr Breen said litter is not a problem in the town, adding that it won the Tidy Towns competition last year, but plastic waste still ends up in the river.

“The town is very clean, but there is an issue of people coming down here, maybe on weekends and at night, drinking whatever, but the plastic ends up in the river,” he said.

“Trim has great equipment, but we don’t have recycling bins in town, just rubbish bins so I think a lot of it goes into the waste stream rather than being recycled although I think a lot of people do. make an effort to properly recycle and sort and separate their used materials,” Michael Breen said.

Another store that encourages people to recycle instead of recycle is Cult Zero based in the town of Trim.

“There’s nothing wrong with a plastic bottle for your washing up liquid, but you may find that the plastic bottle has to be reused over and over again. It still takes energy to recycle, so it’s better to reuse as much as possible,” Rachel Waldron, who said. works at Cult Zero he said.

On the banks of the Boyne in Co Meath

The Environmental Protection Agency says this is the fifth year in a row we’ve seen an increase in plastic packaging waste.

The EPA said that while the amount of packaging waste being recycled is increasing every year, it cannot keep up with the increase in packaging waste being produced in the first place.

“We have done in 2021, more than 1.2 million tons of packaging waste and it is clear in the last five years of continuous growth.

“What we’re seeing now is that our growth is starting to undermine our efforts to try to recycle as much as possible.” said Warren Phelan, program manager for the Circular Economy Program at the Environmental Protection Agency.

“For example, what we’re seeing is that the consumption or growth of packaging is happening three times faster than we’re recycling so our packaging rate will drop again by 2020.

“Our 2025 goal is definitely in jeopardy now.”

Mr. Phelan said that the focus should be on producers, not consumers, and called on the big retailers to “show leadership” and “see where there are opportunities to change the current situation,” said Warren Phelan.

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