Big push to make Kilkee Plastic Free

Big push to make Kilkee Plastic Free

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Photo: Eamon Ward

Irish Water is supporting Kilkee Chamber of Commerce and Kilkee Tidy Towns to help Make Kilkee Plastic Free by encouraging the use of reusable bottles rather than single use plastics.

A supply of stainless steel bottles with the ‘Make Kilkee Plastic Free’ logo has been handed over to the Chamber by representatives of Irish Water.

This initiative is aimed at supporting the Chamber’s campaign to protect Kilkee from plastic waste. Local people will be encouraged to use these bottles instead of disposable plastic bottles which can often end up littering the coastline and damaging marine life.

Maurice Hourigan, Irish Water’s Operations Lead for Clare, explained: “Irish Water is committed to protecting our rivers, lakes and coastal waters by ensuring that wastewater is fully treated before being returned back to the environment. We are investing €2 billion up to 2021 to improve wastewater quality and capacity around the country.

“As part of this investment we are currently progressing plans to end the discharge of untreated wastewater across 44 urban areas, including in Kilkee and four other locations in Clare: Kilrush, Ballyvaughan, Liscannor and Clarecastle.

“Separately, we have also upgraded the existing wastewater pumping station in Kilkee. This will ensure it is fit for purpose and protect the local marine environment.

“We are delighted to support Kilkee Chamber of Commerce in its excellent initiative to Make Kilkee Plastic Free. Through initiatives like this, and the Think Before You Flush campaign which Irish Water supports, we will continue to play our part in protecting waterways and the marine environment from plastic waste and other damaging materials. Everyone can help by not flushing inappropriate items such as cotton bud sticks, wet wipes or nappies down the toilet where they can end up damaging wastewater networks and our marine environment.”

Cillian Murphy, President of Kilkee Chamber of Commerce commented: “Single use plastics have a huge negative impact on our environment, and in particular the marine environment. As a coastal community, the increasing amount of plastic in the ocean has become increasingly obvious along our beaches and shorelines. While much of this litter is generated far outside our community, we can, and ought to, change that which is within our control.

“Kilkee Chamber of Commerce has taken a very clear leadership role by implementing change to reduce the amount of single use plastic waste generated by our business through its Make Kilkee Plastic Free campaign. It has taken on the responsibility in affecting public behavioural change through the types of purchasing decisions the chamber businesses make on a day-to-day basis and in the types of products we offer and sell to our customers. The support of Irish Water for this pilot project has been much appreciated and these reusable bottles will increase the visibility of our campaign in the future. If each of these bottles removes one plastic bottle per day from the waste stream it will result in over 40,000 less single use plastic bottles per annum.”

Irish Water has previously teamed up with Kilkee Chamber of Commerce to organise a very successful beach clean in Kilkee.

For more information about Irish Water’s campaigns to encourage responsible flushing behaviour, please visit www.water.ie or www.thinkbeforyouflush.org

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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