Supermarkets should be encouraged to reduce the amount of plastic packaging, says Cllr. Siobhan Ambrose
The supermarkets in Clonmel and Cahir should be requested to support a reduction in plastic campaign on an agreed Saturday, Cllr. Siobhan Ambrose proposed at a meeting of Clonmel Borough District.
She suggested that under this initiative, customers could avail of in-store recycling points for plastic packaging, in an effort to protect the environment.
Such a campaign had proved very productive when launched in Kinvara in Co. Galway in recent weeks.If it proved successful in the supermarkets, she said the campaign could be rolled out in the future to include the local retail sector in Clonmel and Cahir, and in time could be extended to other towns in the county.
District Administrator Anthony Coleman said that the environment section of the County Council was discussing the reduction of plastic packaging at a regional level with the Southern Region Waste Management office.
The objective was to agree pilot projects on a regional, and possibly national basis, along with the relevant funding.
Mr. Coleman said it was intended to propose at least one pilot site in the county as part of this process and Cashel town had already been chosen, considering the national "zero waste" project that was underway there.
He said that this would build on the voluntary exercise already carried out by the project with one of the main supermarkets in Cashel recently.
"Based on the rollout of the proposed pilots, consideration can then be given to expanding the practice to other towns, including Cahir and Clonmel", Mr. Coleman added.
However Cllr. Ambrose said that every campaign that the County Council launched seemed to start in Cashel, such as the dog fouling patrols, which had never been extended to Clonmel.
She said that her suggestion wouldn't take away from the council's project and she still believed they should contact the supermarkets.
Cllr. Andy Moloney said he would have a serious issue with approaching the supermarkets in Cahir and telling them how to run their business.
While he agreed with Cllr. Ambrose to an extent, he said these supermarkets were big rate payers in the town and SuperValu sponsored the National Tidy Towns competition.
Cllr. Pat English said he wouldn't blame the supermarkets but a re-think on the amount of plastic being produced was needed.
Cllr. Michael Murphy didn't consider Cllr. Ambrose's suggestion as telling the supermarkets what to do. Instead it proposed they would collaborate with them.
Cllr. Micheal Anglim didn't believed anyone was trying to tell the supermarkets how to run their business.