Update on Sick of Plastic

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Sick of Plastic is a joint campaign, hosted by Friends of the Earth and VOICE Ireland. Together, we are working to empower people and communities to pressure industry and decision makers to take action on single use plastic.
We’ve been campaigning to ban the most commonly littered single use plastic items for three years now. We’re excited to report that some promising developments in this area were made earlier this month! On July 5th, EU countries had to transpose the Single Use Plastic Directive into law.

In practice, this means that the most commonly littered single use plastic items, such as cotton buds, straws and plastic cutlery are now banned! This is fantastic news. However these new regulations don’t cut out all of these items straight away - we’re in a transitional phase. Businesses and suppliers can continue to sell their existing stock but they cannot buy more. So if you see these items in shops, restaurants or businesses, you could gently remind them that this ban has come into force and that moving forward we shouldn't have them on the shelves.

This EU Single Use Plastic directive also introduces new labelling requirements for products like wipes and menstrual items.

Ireland is now being heralded by our International partners, such as Break from Plastic and Seas at Risk, as a leader in the battle against single use plastics. However, it’s obvious from the images of our streets after large gatherings - to give just one example - that we need better joined up thinking if we are to really tackle the many problems around single use packaging waste. This is a small victory, but there is still a lot more to do!


Planet or Plastic Exhibition in association with Sick of Plastic and National Geographic

We are partnering up with the National Geographic and SSE Airtricity to bring the Planet or Plastic Exhibition on an Irish Road show. In the build up to COP26 UN Climate negotiations we want to bring the issues of plastic to the fore. This exhibition curated by the National Geographic will be taken on a roadshow around Ireland. Stay tuned for more info – you can sign up for Sick of Plastic updates here.

planet or plastic

Instagram Take Over for Plastic Free July

We are celebrating Plastic Free July with a month of take-overs on our Instagram pageJoin us and Keelin Moncrief, Veghuns, The Ungraceful Guide and Irish artist and activist Claire McCluskey as we follow them on their Plastic Free July journeys. Our Instagram handle is @sickofplasticireland

ig take over SOP

Grocery Sector Report

We have been busy working on a Grocery Sector Report which will outline why and how Ireland can seriously reduce its packaging waste in the grocery sector. This report will form the basis for a direct action campaign, stay tuned as we will need your help!

Sick of Plastic Petition

Our petition is still live. Well done to everyone and thanks for signing. We have hit our 25,000 target and we’re still going. You can sign it here at this link.

Follow Sick of Plastic on Social Media

To hear more about Sick of Plastic and to get involved in the action this year, follow Sick of Plastic on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



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Planet or Plastic outdoor exhibition

The Sick of Plastic campaign that we run with VOICE Ireland has brought a spectacular National Geographic photographic exhibition to Ireland.

The exhibition tells the story behind plastic from its invention just over a century ago to its current mass consumption. It deals with how the plastic crisis came about, explores the scope of the problem and looks at how we can each be a part of the solution.



Plastic has revolutionized medicine, extended the shelf life of fresh food and enabled the delivery of clean drinking water to those without it. When used in airbags or helmets, it saves lives. Yet, despite its utility and convenience, plastic is doing terrible damage to the health of our planet.

Plastic waste has been found in the oceans from the Arctic to the Antarctic - and from the surface to the seafloor. Marine animals are ingesting plastic - and becoming entangled in it. It's negatively impacting our ecosystems and resulting in traumatic environmental effects. Plastic is showing up in our human bodies too - it has been detected in human placentas and stool samples.


Through powerful imagery, "Planet or Plastic?" makes the case for the need to find a balance between using this material and protecting our environment.

Visual storytelling is used throughout the exhibit, with multimedia elements, profound images, powerful infographics and videos. The exhibition also includes actions that visitors can take to address the plastic crisis - you’ll leave feeling motivated and ready for action!

Entry is free to this outdoor exhibition. You can visit it at the Harbour Plaza in Dún Laoghaire from now until 12th November. It will then move to the Promenade, Skerries, where you can view it from 15th November to the 13th December.

Retailer Questionnaire

We have teamed up with our international partners at Break Free From Plastic to conduct a European wide study. We will use retailers' responses, or lack thereof, in our upcoming publications on the state of play of the European retail sector on the issue of plastic pollution.(LIDL and ALDI have submitted their responses, Dunnes Stores, Musgraves and TESCO have not).

We will compile the results and release a European wide report on the plastic out of European supermarkets. Stay tuned.

Conduct a Supermarket Audit: You can audit your local shop/supermarket to see how they are doing in the fight against plastic. A Supermarket Audit checklist is available to download HERE

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