Trash talk: Plastic
This year Croke Park celebrates its very own 'five in a row' as we mark the fifth year achieving a rate of zero-percent of our stadium waste going to landfill.
Our 'Drive for Five' will amount to almost 25 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill to be recycled, composted or converted to energy, earning the stadium its reputation as a leader in sustainability at home and abroad.
This great achievement is due to the ongoing cooperation and vigilance of all stadium staff and contractors.
But why is it important for all of us to be so focussed when it comes to watching our waste?
Rubbish. It’s everywhere and it’s not going away. Humankind’s production of waste has increased exponentially in the past hundred years. The world is now pocketed with mountains, rivers and seas of waste, made up of ever-accumulating plastic that will take half a millennium to biodegrade.
Plastic, one of the great democratisers of the twentieth century, has become one of the great tyrants of the twenty-first. Plastic is versatile and convenient and now it’s choking the world.
Microplastics have been found in 83% of drinking water sources. At current levels of consumption there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.
What’s Ireland doing?
Adding to the rubbish. Irish people are among the top three worst packaging waste offenders in the EU. Irish people use more single-use plastic packaging than any other country in Europe and generate twice as much plastic waste per person than the EU average.
Happily, Ireland is also among the EU leaders in terms of recycling, with waste segregation now a part of everyday life for most Irish people.
Recycling is a hugely important part of reducing plastic pollution. However, a recycled plastic bottle rarely has a second life as a new plastic bottle. Instead it might come back as running leggings, a traffic cone or a garden bench.
All useful but not recyclable and fated to end up on that every growing pile of waste. Therefore, the future here and abroad is now on combing recycling with plastic reduction
What about Croke Park?
Croke Park has maintained an impressive zero percent waste-to-landfill record since 2014 - maintaining this accolade for a fifth successive year in 2018 is no mean feat and we all play our part tin this important achievement.
All the rubbish produced in the stadium – from matches, concerts and conferences and by staff – is either composted, recycled or processed as waste-to-energy.
This is thanks to the robust bin segregation system in place and the efforts by every member of staff to make sure they put their waste in the right bin so that no waste streams becomes mixed or contaminated.
Croke Park is also committed to reducing the waste produced in the stadium, especially single-use plastic waste. 2017 saw the introduction of compostable tea and coffee cups, the elimination of plastic cutlery and straws and a move towards paperless meetings.
The stadium is always looking for new and better ways to cut down on waste and to improve recycling habits. If you have a good idea on how to cut down waste in your department or in the stadium as a whole, take a look at the competition page and see how your good idea could win a €100 meal voucher for you and your team.