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  • Northside East

Croker praised for plastics initiative

Friday, 22nd June, 2018 8:00am
Croker praised for  plastics initiative

A ban on single use plastics has been introduced at Croke Park. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

Croker praised for  plastics initiative

A ban on single use plastics has been introduced at Croke Park. PHOTO: DARREN KINSELLA

Orla O’Driscoll 

CROKE Park has been praised for introducing a ban on single use plastics such as straws, cutlery and cups.   

According to a spokesperson for the GAA, it is what is expected of them as market leaders who hold sustainability awards in this area.

GAA Head of Communications Alan Milton told Northside People about their members’ expectations, and how the first weekend went (June 9/10).

“We started the process of going plastic free, on Sunday, by eliminating the use of cups and cutlery in our fast food outlets around the stadium,” he said. 

“We replaced plastic cups with compostable cups and plastic cutlery with products made from recyclable materials.”

Indeed, Milton was keen to point out similar elements of public awareness, as driving their desire to make a positive impact on the environment. 

“I think its incumbent on us, when society is having this discussion about one-off plastics, a discussion which has been very prevalent in the last three months, that Croke Park, which deems itself to be a market leader in this space, takes some action,” he said. 

A European commission group, set up to look at the devastating effect of plastics, specifically the lack of biodegradability, and issues directly attributable to infestation of oceans, is proposing a total ban on single use plastics across the whole continent. 

Croke Park can accommodate as many as 80,000 people on bigger match days and Milton pointed out that these are the areas where awareness can be achieved. 

“You can make a profound difference by doing what we are doing, and we hope that the initial steps will be well received,” he said. 

Milton said Croke Park will undertake a full audit of one-off plastics and see where they can improve and how they progress because of that audit.

“We don’t yet have a date to be plastic free, but I think last weekend was a very positive step forward and it will propel the project in the weeks ahead,” he added. 

Cllr Malachy Quinn (SF), who represents the Balbriggan Local Electoral Area (LEA), welcomed the news and said more initiatives like this are needed from business, cultural, sporting and Government.

“I further welcome the plan to completely rid the stadium of single-use plastic by the end of 2018 and that the GAA have told vendors and bars at the venue to step-up and follow suit to be included in this green initiative,” he said.

Cllr Quinn believes plastic fibre pollution is out of control.

“I recently attended a presentation on plastic fibre pollution by students of St Mologa’s Senior National School in Balbriggan, I was very disturbed at what I had learned from the students,” he said.

“Of the 260 million tons of plastic that the world produces every year, about 10 percent ends up in the ocean. 

“If we keep this up there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050. It is estimated that there are five trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world’s seas and that the debris has reached the most remote parts of the oceans. 

“Clearly there is an onus on all of us to do more when it comes to recycling and the use of harmful plastic. Well done to the GAA for leading the way on this initiative.”

 

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