21 February 2018
By Mary Bermingham
Community initiative is cutting through the recycling confusion
‘Plastic Free Kinsale’, a new community initiative to reduce unnecessary plastic use and increase recycling, was launched in January by Madeleine Murray and Tara Shine.
A recycling workshop has been organised in conjunction with Transition Towns Kinsale and Tidy Towns for Thursday 22nd February, at 7.30 pm at the Kinsale Friary, as part of the VOICE recycling ambassador programme.
Following a sustainability focus group with householders and businesses in Kinsale, the findings were clear that people want to do the right thing to reduce waste and live healthy and sustainable lives. However, people feel overwhelmed and frustrated by lack of clarity around what they should do and confusion abounds around the information on offer.
Plastic Free Kinsale was born, an initiative dedicated to tackling this messaging issue and providing simple and accessible information. The aim is to mobilise action in homes, business, clubs and schools in the town, and to have fun doing it.
Ireland is one of Europe’s top 5 plastic waste producers, producing 61 kilogrammes per person, per year. Now that China, who in 2016 took 95% of Ireland’s plastic for recycling, has signalled that it will no longer accept our waste, reducing the amount of plastic we consume is a must.
The Recycling Workshop is supported by REPAK and VivaGreen Group – a knowledge based Irish company and world leader in the research and development of high quality biodegradable, chemical and plastic-free materials.
The VivaGreen product range includes a number of products for the home and outdoors, including GreenSax, Snackpack, Lunchpack – compostable bags in a range of sizes for wheelie bins, counter top waste management and composting, nappy sacks and dog waste. VivaGreen also produces Moss Off chemical free for outdoor areas and lawns. www.vivagreengroup.com
Plastic Free Kinsale’s website www.plasticfreekinsale.com and social media platforms are used to share top tips, facts and solutions. This includes three simple things each club, school, household and business can take to reduce plastic waste.
Other workshops, presentations, beach cleans and family events will be organised throughout the year.
Launching Plastic Free Kinsale, Tara said, “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. Hopefully Plastic Free Kinsale can help to empower more of us to make a difference through our actions.”
“We hope to play our small part in making sustainability smarter and more convenient,” said Madeleine. “While people may not be experts on the environment or climate change, they are very much experts on their family’s health and well-being and financial security. 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.”