GLAN IS A NEW ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE THAT AIMS TO LEAD THE WAY IN THE REDUCTION OF SINGLE USE PLASTICS IN OUR EVERYDAY LIVES AND INSPIRE ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIONS. GLAN WORKS WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES TO PROMOTE AND ACHEIVE ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE. GLAN IS ALREADY BEING PILOTED IN THE DINGLE PENINSULA WHERE LOCAL BUSINESSES HAVE ALREADY STARTED MAKING PRACTICAL AND EFFECTIVE CHANGES IN ORDER TO REVERSE SOME OF OUR OVER-DEPENDENCY ON PLASTIC.
“We have all read, or heard, about the shocking volumes, depths and distances to which our dependence on plastics has reached. From the bellies of our seabirds to our very own drinking water, microplastics (small broken up plastics) have reached our river beds and even under the ice caps! Indeed our dependency on plastic has grown quickly and exponentially with many of us still remembering the days when the milkman used to drop and pick up the milk bottles and nothing was ever wasted....socks were darned and the shopping bags were paper or wicker. So when did we develop such a throw away culture? Whereby glass ketchup bottles have been replaced with little plastic sachets, which can take around 100 years to fully breakdown.
Dingle Oceanworld, Dingle Tidy Towns and Clean Coasts have been working together to develop a simple step-by-step environmental initiative that will have its grassroots in Dingle before spreading its wings nationally. Such steps might involve changing to paper straws once again or even simply bringing the straws behind the counter to be asked for, just to help reduce unnecessary plastic use. It’s is estimated 8,500,000,000 straws are discarded annually and each straw can take 200 years to break down…. Another such step would be to encourage the use of re-usable cups by offering a discount to those with re-usable cups or if you prefer…a charge for those who don’t! Dingle Aquarium has made a pledge to change all of their single plastic use items in the café to compostable versions. They were genuinely surprised by the competitive price and wide range of compostable items available right here in Ireland. Indeed, the Aquarium was so surprised they were inspired to spread the word - they have generated a cost comparison sheet of some of the frequently used items and have found the various distributors in Ireland. They are more than happy to share their discoveries!
Over the course of the next week or so we will be launching the GLAN initiative on the Dingle Peninsula and we will be in touch with businesses to tell them more and to give them helpful information. To support the work of businesses willing to make pledges there will be promotional material produced, including a GLAN sticker for their window. So look out for them and please support any business that is working on making positive environmental action, including of course the fight against single use plastics. But that’s not all... In combination with the GLAN initiative we are also starting up the #2minutestreetclean in Dingle. We are all very proud of our local communities and indeed we all appreciate the beauty of where we are lucky enough to live and so next time you have a minute to spare maybe you could pick up any rogue bits of litter you find and pop them in the bin? Kerry Co. Co. is supporting this in Dingle and has some great ideas for rolling it out in the near future. We’ll have more information in later editions of WKL... So this is only the beginning of an uphill battle to defend and protect our island but all together and little by little we can have a huge impact!
We are asking for every business to join us and pledge their support and take on one or more of the below changes in their day to day running, they are only small adjustments but they can have a huge impact. This initiative will not only support our very beautiful environment but it will also increase our public relations as being an environmentally aware area which is becoming more and important to our visitors and rightly so! We need to kick this “throw away” culture out the door!
1. Straws: Could you put them behind the counter? Let people ask for them or even better still change to paper or biodegradable straws?
2. Condiment sachets: These culprits always end up blowing down the streets once used, so could you ditch the sachets and change back to the bottles to get rid of the unnecessary packaging?
3. Coffee cups: Globally it is estimated that 500 billion disposable cups are discarded to landfill or incineration every year. That’s one million cups a minute. Could you make the switch to biodegradable or compostable cups in your business or even offer a discount for reusable cup use? Or even charge extra for the use of a disposable?
4. This includes Ice cream tubs, salad tubs, single use cutlery... We have attached a list of suppliers to this letter as to where you can source more environmentally friendly options.
5. Take away boxes, could you switch to cardboard and other alternatives?- We have included some of the options on the next sheet
6. Plastic bottles, now there is a tricky one, until the companies feel enough pressure to change their packaging there are few alternatives....But aluminium cans and glass bottle are a much better option as they are 100 % recyclable compared to the 7 -23% that a plastic bottle is!
7. Would you be happy to refill water bottles from your tap? Or use glass bottles instead which are again 100% recyclable?
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