22 May 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
Thousands of reusable plastic bottles are being distributed to participants in next week’s Cork City Marathon as part a campaign to encourage more people, particularly those engaged in outdoor pursuits and sports activities, to invest in a reusable bottle.
Cork City Council, in conjunction with the Southern Waste Regional Office, is providing 4,500 members of participating relay teams, including 20 members of Cork City Council’s Staff Health & Fitness Team, with the bottles.
The initiative is part of the ‘Do One More Thing Campaign’, which is a key element of the recently launched Southern Region Waste Management Plan that sets out a waste management framework for 10 local authority areas across the south of Ireland, including Cork City, during the next six years.
It’s the second initiative to be rolled out in Cork in as many months. Last month, ‘No Junk Mail’ stickers were made available to householders throughout the City in a bid to reduce the amount of waste generated locally by unsolicited mail dropped through letterboxes.
The latest initiative has been welcomed by Cllr. Mary Shields, Lord Mayor of Cork, who said: “This is a wonderful yet simple way of encouraging the wider public to reduce the amount of waste generated by used plastic bottles.”
“Other local sports clubs, recreation groups and youth clubs in Cork can play their part in cutting down on the amount of plastic bottle waste generated by encouraging their members to consider using a reusable bottle. The wisest strategy for consumers is to reduce the consumption of plastic and by doing so, make a significant contribution to the environment,” added the Lord Mayor.
Mary Walsh, Environment Section, Cork City Council stated: “To put Ireland’s water bottle usage into context, one need only look at a large scale mass participation event to understand how much waste is generated. It’s estimated that at least 10,000 people will take part in this year’s Cork City Marathon for example. If each person training for the marathon drinks a 500ml bottle of water after training every day for 3 months before the marathon, 900,000 bottles will need to be recycled.”
“Last year in Ireland it’s estimated that 70 million soft drinks in plastic bottles were placed on the market and about 14 million of these were bottles of water. 81% of these bottles were recycled. However, reuse is better for the environment than recycling as it reduces energy and water consumption required to recycle plastic bottles and ultimately, less waste is produced. Reuse will help you feel good about protecting the environment and could also save you money,” added Ms. Walsh.
The ‘Do One More Thing Campaign’ forms part of the recently launched Southern Region Waste Management Plan and is funded through the Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN) of the EPA’s National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP). Under the Waste Management Plan, Cork City and County Councils and 8 other local authorities have been set a number of key targets in relation waste prevention activities. Visit www.southernwasteregion.ie for more.