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Let's cut plastic waste and oversuse, starting in supermarkets

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Petition Text

I want to see supermarkets reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use. If I'm in a supermarket on Saturday 21st April I'll #ShopAndDrop my unwanted plastic packaging at the checkout.

I also support:
A deposit and return scheme on plastic bottles and cans.
A levy on single-use plastic items, like take-away cups.
A ban on micro-plastics in cosmetics and care products.

Why This? Why Now?

We are all sick of plastic. 

Everyday in Ireland we use more than 500,000 plastic-lined coffee cups that can't be recycled, and 2.5 million plastic bottles that don't get recycled, and supermarkets foist more and more packaging on us. Meanwhile, micro-plastics are making the fish we eat sick, and if we keep going the way we are, plastic waste will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050.

But there are solutions. Some supermarkets, like Iceland in the UK, are already taking action.Help make it happen here by signing this petition.

What Irish supermarkets can do

We've written to the ceos of big supermarket chains asking them to take these Six Steps:

  1. Offer more items without packaging, such as fruit and vegetables (without plastic trays, wrapping and nets).
  2. Make their own-brand packaging easily compostable or recyclable, and use less plastic.
  3. Demand, through their purchasing power, that other brands they carry have easily compostable or recyclable packaging, and use less plastic.
  4. Blaze a trail in Ireland by implementing a plastic free aisle, as has been done in the Netherlands.
  5. Provide items in bulk, where possible, to reduce packaging.
  6. Allow shoppers use their own containers to buy dried goods, buying only what they need.

What you can do

On 21st April we are asking people to “Shop and Drop” - shop as normal in your local supermarket and then take off the excess plastic packaging at the checkout and leave it with the cashier.

We’re also looking for local organizers and volunteers to help out with the day. Local organizers will promote the day locally and liaise with local supermarkets. Volunteers will hand out postcards and talk to shoppers outside supermarkets on the day.

1. Sign and Share this petition to make sure you get the lastest updates from us.

2. Tell your friends by sharing the Facebook event for the Day of Action.

3. Help us pay the cost of design and print of postcards, posters and other materials for the day.

4. Volunteer to stand outsuide a supermarket on the day by filling out this form.

5. Join the online "Thunderclap" to kickstart the day itself on social media. 

What politicians can do

There is a Bill (draft law) under discussion in the Dáil and Seanad to introduce a 10c deposit on plastic bottles, which would be refunded when you bring the bottle back for recycling. In countries where they have a scheme like this recycling rates are as high as 98%. We had a deposit and refund scheme for glass bottles in the past. It's time to do it for plastic.

We know producers and retailers are lobbying hard *against* a deposit and return scheme because they say it would be inconvenient or too expensive. Independent research shows the scheme would cost about 1c per bottle. We need to show that people really want to see action on plastic and don't want supermarkets and big business dragging their heels.

The Bill would also ban or introduce a levy on single-use plastic items like plastic-lined take-away cups. A 15c "latte levy" as it has been described would encourage more and more people to bring their own cup to the coffee shop, like the Friends of the Earth KeepCup. Many coffee shops have joined the Conscious Cup Campaign and offer customers a discount, double loyalty points, or like coffeeangel do, make a donation to Friends of the Earth every time someone brings a reusable cup.
The Government has promised a separate ban on micro-plastics before the end of the 2018 but they have been slow to bring forward legislation to progress the opposition Bill that is waiting for a Dáil Committee to make time to consider it.


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