New Ocean Rescue campaign shows Irish concerns over plastic consumption

Sky is launching an Irish campaign following a similar one in the UK

New Ocean Rescue campaign shows Irish concerns over plastic consumption

TV presenter Amanda Byram, pictured on Dollymount Beach Dublin, at the launch of Sky Ocean Rescue with a giant humpback 'whale' named Poly | Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

New research suggests 85% of Irish people are concerned by their plastic consumption.

While nearly two-thirds say they have seen plastics in local rivers, lakes and seas.

Sky Ocean Rescue is launching a campaign in Ireland, following on from a similar one in the UK.

It says 22 million plastic bottles are purchased here each week - and, if laid end to end, would reach Boston in Massachusetts.

And 84% of Irish people are using reusable bags, but only 8% of people avoid items packaged in plastics.

The research was commissioned to mark the launch of Sky Ocean Rescue in Ireland.

The project aims to inspire people and businesses to make simple, everyday changes to help save the oceans.

The research highlights increasing public concern in Ireland, with most people (82%) believing that it is one of the most serious issues facing us today.

The new findings sit alongside recent Eurostat data which show Ireland is a top producer of plastic waste in Europe - producing 61kg of plastic waste per person each year.

Sky Ocean Rescue in Ireland say each person typically buys six plastic bottles each week.

While less than one in 10 people feel that they can avoid items packaged in plastics due to a lack of alternatives.

JD Buckley, managing director of Sky Ireland, said: "We've launched Sky Ocean Rescue in Ireland to encourage people to make easy, simple changes to stop our island being surrounded by plastic.

"Research tells us that 85% of people are concerned with plastic usage in Ireland and as one of the top producers of plastic waste it's time to pass on plastic and do what we can to protect our oceans."

Supporting the campaign, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said: "Marine litter is harmful to our oceans and to the marine life within them.

"To properly harness our ocean wealth, this is a challenge we need to tackle, so that we can protect the greatest national resource that Ireland has- the sea that surrounds our island."

The launch in Dublin was assisted by Poly the whale - which is made from the same amount of plastic that pollutes the ocean every second.

The whale has already travelled across Europe visiting locations including London, Brussels, Rome and Leipzig.

More information about the campaign can be found here