Ireland prides itself on its green reputation. But is there any truth behind it?
The quality of our water and air is deteriorating. This can be invisible to us but the physical waste we create is staggeringly visible. The following is a brief summary of the problem (with thanks to Livinglightlyinireland.wordpress.com).
In 2016 in Ireland 3207 kg of waste was generated per person, putting us in 17th place (out of 37). (Source: Eurostat). Of that 3207kg 57.9kg of it was plastic packaging, making us the worst offender in Europe (Source: Statista). In 2019 the amount of packaging waste (all types) generated equated to
210kg per head; 30kg more than the European average of 180kg (Source: Irish Times). Add to that the fact that almost two thirds of plastic packaging is not on the current recycling list, i.e. can’t go into your green bin and you start the get a sense of the scale of the problem.
In Ireland, every day, 7,500 tons of waste is generated including;
one million dirty nappies,
220,000 plastic bottles
half a million takeaway coffee cups
€3 million in food waste.
1.5 million aluminium cans
In one day 220,000 plastic bottles of water are consumed (Source: RTE)
We also flush away 400 million litres of water, which contains enough waste paper in it for 519,000 toilet rolls, and wash 700,000 machine loads of clothes. (Source: RTE)
Dublin’s Waste To Energy Incinerator in Ringsend runs 24/7 where 100 trucks offload their waste from around Dublin daily. (Source: RTE)
So please read our tips and make an extra effort to make your St. Patrick’s Day truly green in all senses!