In January 2019, the Government decided that Government Departments and Public Bodies will lead the way in reducing generation of single use plastics and waste. This decision recognises that the public service must demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development and use its influence to persuade others of the changes required to reduce our impact on the environment. The main changes include:
- With immediate effect, Government Departments will not supply, directly or indirectly, single use plastic beverage cups, cutlery or straws. This restriction will also apply to all Public Bodies including State Agencies and schools from the 31st of March 2019 unless specific public health/hygiene or safety issues arise.
- By the 31st of March 2019, the Department will work with the Office of Government Procurement to bring forward proposals on the implementation of green public procurement.
- Each Government Department is required to develop a resource efficiency action plan for publication by the end of June 2019. These plans are designed to help staff make savings in water, materials and energy use as well as preventing food waste and maximising recycling within their work environment.
- By 30th November 2019, all Public Bodies are required to provide a report to their respective Minister on the measures they are taking to minimise waste generation and maximise recycling.
In the coming weeks we will be contacting all Departments directly to inform them of the changes and establish a network of officials who will lead on implementing the actions within their own Departments.
In February 2019, this Department with the SEAI and EPA will arrange a short workshop which will introduce Government Departments to the broader concepts of resource efficiency; how resource efficiency action plans can be devised for their offices and how all Public Bodies can successfully embed sustainability behaviours. This event will be for Government Department staff only, for more information contact email@example.com