Today, March 30th, marks the first-ever International Day of Zero Waste!
Today is a day dedicated to recognizing the efforts and commitment needed in driving sustainable consumption and production patterns and raising awareness about the importance of zero-waste initiatives in addressing climate change.
On this International Day of Zero Waste, we took to the streets of Dublin to get a feel for the efforts made and the challenges faced in reducing waste.
All those we spoke to were making conscious efforts to reduce their waste, such as using reusable water bottles and coffee cups. These are all small but really positive actions. However, as we found out, creating more sustainable habits isn’t always easy.
We spoke to one student who was passionate about reducing their waste, but they're facing a roadblock - there are NO recycling bins in their student accommodation! This is really frustrating but no surprise to hear, especially for Tad Kirakowski, who has been running VOICE’s Upgrading Shared Bin Experience project for many years. This project looks to understand and solve the many, many issues around waste segregation in apartments, and shared living spaces.
We also asked the good people of Dublin what items they thought were the most littered. Disappointingly, aluminum cans were a common sight. Plastic bottles, plastic packaging, disposable vapes, and cigarette butts were flagged as the most wasted/littered items.
In the spirit of this new Zero Waste Day, we are going to highlight the good. There are solutions to all these waste problems and this is how VOICE is leading the charge:
We've been lobbying for a Deposit Return Scheme for a LONG time
Say goodbye to plastic bottles and cans strewn across your path. Our 'Return for Change' campaign is driving sustainable consumption and production patterns by advocating for a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Ireland. A DRS would encourage consumers to return their plastic bottles and aluminum cans for recycling, reducing litter and waste.
This campaign also highlights the importance of responsible consumption by encouraging consumers to make informed decisions about their purchases and to choose products that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
If you are a retailer and would like more information on the upcoming DRS, please email Colin@voiceireland.org
We are calling for a ban on Disposable Vapes.
Now, thanks to the tobacco industry, we have a new environmental threat; vape litter (e-cigarette waste). Chances are you have already seen the multi-colored discarded ends of single-use e-cigarettes (or vapes as they are known).
The waste associated with these types of smoking devices is huge, plastic, electronic, lithium-ion batteries and the same toxic chemical soup mix found in the traditional cigarette butt. We are calling on the Irish government to ban disposable vapes.
We are demanding that supermarkets stop using so much unnecessary plastic
The Sick of Plastic campaign is also driving sustainable consumption and production patterns by working to reduce plastic packaging in supermarkets and shops.
By empowering communities to pressure industry and decision-makers to take action on single-use plastic, this campaign is promoting the use of more sustainable alternatives and encouraging consumers to make more environmentally conscious choices.
We are educating young people on reusable menstrual items
Our No Plastic Period campaign is driving sustainable consumption and production patterns by promoting the use of reusable menstrual items, which can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from disposable menstrual products.
Abi travels to secondary schools to educate young people on the benefits of reusable menstrual items. By raising awareness of these alternatives and normalizing their use, this campaign is encouraging a shift towards more sustainable menstrual practices.
If you would like Abi to come to your school, please email email@example.com.
We are inspiring a whole new generation of litter pickers
The Picker Pals children's programme is driving sustainable consumption and production patterns by educating and empowering young people to become stewards of their local environments.
By teaching children about the importance of waste reduction and responsible consumption, this programmeis fostering a generation of environmentally conscious citizens who will make more sustainable choices in the future.
We are moving parents/guardians away from disposable nappies
The Cloth Nappy Incentive Scheme is driving sustainable consumption and production patterns by encouraging the use of reusable nappies, which can significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from disposable nappies.
By providing parents/guardians with the opportunity to try reusable nappies without financial investment, this campaign is making sustainable options more accessible and affordable. Ask your local council if they have signed up to VOICE's Cloth Nappy Incentive Scheme or email firstname.lastname@example.org
So Happy International Day of Zero Waste!
Follow and share with us your own zero-waste journeys @voiceireland.
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