Environment Minister Edwin Poots has welcomed the publication of the Single Use Plastic Reduction Action Plan Annual Report, which provides an update on how the Northern Ireland Executive has met its target to remove all unnecessary single-use plastic (SUP) from the Government estate, by 1st October 2021.
The report sets out the achievements, actions and challenges undertaken by all Departments throughout the implementation phase of the plan, which was launched in October 2020. One key achievement has been a consistent and significant reduction in unnecessary single-use plastics by suppliers and contractors. Across the five main NICS sites - Castle Buildings, CCEA, Dundonald House, PRONI and Netherleigh House - approximately 103,400 SUP items were procured each year (mostly plastic cutlery and takeaway boxes). These items have now been replaced by reusables or more environmentally friendly alternatives where possible.
Welcoming the report, Minister Poots said: "I am delighted that, despite unprecedented pressures across all Departments due to the Covid pandemic, my Department, in partnership with the Department of Finance, has removed all unnecessary single-use plastic from the Government estate within the target date of October 2021. This is another welcome step forward in our efforts to cut out single use plastics in Northern Ireland and reduce the throwaway culture in society. It also supports our commitment to the NI Executive’s New Decade, New Approach aim to create a plan to eliminate plastic pollution. By working together with our colleagues across all departments and leading by example across government, we are paving the way for long term change in Northern Ireland around protecting our natural environment.”
Finance Minister Conor Murphy added: “We are delighted to have supported DAERA in this important work to remove all unnecessary plastic from the Government estate. Our suppliers and contractors have worked hard to achieve extremely positive results and will continue to do so as more people return to the office.”
Notes to editors:
- Download the Single Use Plastic Reduction Action Plan Annual Report.
- A ban on the use of unnecessary SUP across the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) estate came into force on 1 October 2021.
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