In Ireland we produce over a million tonnes of packaging waste a year, and the volume is increasing.

The sheer amount of plastic we are producing feels overwhelming.

But the framework legislation for a circular economy is about to be enacted and consumers, businesses, and government much each play their part to reduce packaging, particularly single use plastic packaging, in our world.

Sick of Plastic on social media highlights how frustrated people are but sometimes it feels like we are talking to ourselves, preaching to the converted, so to speak. In 2020 we had a fantastic ‘Shop and Drop’ campaign and consumers who were #sickofplastic showed supermarkets where to go with their excess packaging.

The time has come once again to directly tell retailers they are using too much plastic and demand a change. We are asking consumers to put retailers under pressure by asking them to be accountable to their customers.

To do this we are asking people to contact retailers directly by email or letter to complain about a specific product. Consumers can use the opportunity to ask generally that retailers:

1. Price loose items competitively.

2. Lead the way; make their own brand packaging reusable.

3. Encourage their suppliers to use less plastic. Demand change on consumer’s behalf.

4. Allow consumers to use their own containers.

5. Introduce a refill station.

6. Supply dry goods and cleaning products in bulk to reduce packaging.

7. Eliminate the use of plastic on in store provided bags (breads & fruit).

Take Action

1. Be specific: contact your retailer about a product that you believe has too much plastic packaging.

2. Be direct: write or email the retailer to complain, as well as tagging them on social media. Use a publicly available email or postal address.

3. Be open: tag Sick of Plastic with a copy of the letter and a picture of the product. At the end of the month we will write to all retailers where we are reiterate our frustration and our asks:

4. Be polite: keep it cordial and don’t publish any personal data.