HSE orders staff to cut out plastic with reusable cups and cutlery
The HSE has been ordered to drop its plastic habit and ensure staff adopt eco-friendly routines such as confining themselves to reusable cups.
Health Minister Simon Harris said reducing plastic use in the public service was now policy.
"The HSE is the largest public sector organisation. The steps the health service is taking will have a significant impact on reducing single-use plastics," he said.
He has written to all hospitals and agencies instructing them to reduce the use of single-use plastics.
The HSE confirmed to the minister it has directed all staff to adopt reusable cups, crockery, cutlery and glassware.
In circumstances where reusable crockery and cutlery and glassware are not suitable, HSE managers have been instructed to purchase biodegradable/compostable alternatives.
There are plans to develop communication resources, such as posters and an internet page, to educate staff on the harm single-use plastics cause to the environment and the actions they can take.
Ireland is the top producer of plastic waste in Europe; generating an average 61kg per person every year - almost double what the UK produces.