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August 25, 2021

GAA launches programme to eliminate single-use plastic bottles

Irish Water will supply participating 'Green Clubs' with a total of 1,500 reusable water bottles.

Ireland’s Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has introduced a programme to remove single-use plastic bottles from Gaelic Games clubs and grounds.

The Puc Single-Use initiative is part of the GAA’s new Green Clubs programme and was launched in collaboration with the Regional Waste Management Authority and Irish Water.

As part of the initiative, the Regional Waste Management Authorities have created a toolkit to help participating clubs identify and remove single-use plastic from their grounds and activities.

Irish Water is providing 1,500 reusable water bottles for member clubs, each of which has nominated a number of teams to champion the initiative.

Irish Water managing director Niall Gleeson said: “Delivering Ireland’s water services in a sustainable and socially responsible way is a key priority for Irish Water.

“Like the GAA, we operate in almost every town and village in the country, safeguarding our precious water supplies and returning treated wastewater safely to the environment.

“We are delighted to support this great initiative by providing clean drinking water in reusable bottles, which will help tackle the growing problem of plastic waste and protect the environment.”

GAA member clubs for the Puc Single-Use initiative include St Patrick’s in Limerick, Park/Ratheniska in Laois and Lucan Sarsfields in Dublin.

These were joined by GAA president Larry McCarthy to launch the programme at Dublin’s Croke Park stadium.

The three clubs are among 45 clubs in Ireland taking part in the pilot Green Clubs programme.

Eastern-Midlands Waste Region regional co-ordinator Hugh Coughlan said: “The three [Waste Management Planning] Regions are delighted to be supporting this initiative by the GAA to reduce single-use plastics, which is very much in line with the ambitions of National and Regional Waste Policy.

“The GAA’s commitment to developing more sustainable clubs through its Green Clubs initiative has significant potential not just for the clubs but, indeed, for the wider community, given the GAA’s unique presence in Irish society.”

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