25-Year Environment Plan: What We Know So Far

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With the dust settled on the launch of the Government's plan to improve the environment over a generation, edie has taken a look at seven key measures that could have the biggest impact on those in the sustainability and energy management community.

"The stance that "where Government needs to intervene to ensure high standards are met, we will not hesitate to do so", is very welcome".

May also said manufacturers will be targeted.

"Plastic can be an ideal packaging material that prevents wastage of food and products and we are encouraged that the Government recognises the importance of both recycling and lifecycle analysis in its plan".

It proposes a plethora of policies covering waste, the natural environment, air pollution and improving health through access to nature.

"This plastic is ingested by dozens of species of marine mammals and over 100 species of sea birds, causing huge suffering to individual creatures and degrading vital habitats", she will say in a speech on Thursday.

'If all governments allocated just 3 per cent of their aid budget to tackling the waste crisis, waste collection could be extended to the one in four people who now lack it'.

"We will set out our plans for a new, world-leading independent statutory body to hold government to account and give the environment a voice".

Shoppers who shun plastic packaging could skip busy supermarket queues under proposals put forward by Theresa May.

Carole Taylor, Chair LARAC explained that "the publication of the Environment Plan is a "positive first step" on filling the policy vacuum that in the waste sector".

In a speech later today Theresa May will say people will be "shocked" at how much plastic is wasted. "Without more funding, councils will struggle to deliver any new aspirations that the Government have".

The issue is set to be further complication by the recent decision to ban the importation of solid waste including plastic by China, where the vast majority of Ireland's plastic waste now ends up.

Such policy recommendations were included in the Pillar's Budget 2018 submission but were "ultimately ignored" by the Government, according to the coalition. Then, it was global warming; now, it is a crusade against plastic.

At the Cabinet meeting, Mr Gove praised the results of a 5p plastic bag charge, which he said has resulted in a 90% decline in use, and promised a series of new initiatives on Thursday.

Since being introduced in 2015, the 5p charge has seen an estimated 9million fewer bags used by shoppers in the UK.

The Environmental Pillar - a coalition of 26 national environmental organisations - welcomed the move by the United Kingdom, and called on the Irish Government to show more urgency in bringing about policy change to tackle the "growing scourge of plastic pollution". The small shop exemption was introduced by the government against the wishes of retailers.

The 5p levy on plastic bags will be extended to all shops in order "to help achieve our goal of eliminating all avoidable plastic waste".

  • Joey Payne