Kilteevan leading the way to plastic-free Roscommon



Six young members of Kilteevan Tidy Towns launched the Straw Sucks #refusethestraw campaign at a recent Coffee Morning in Kilteevan Community Centre. Launching the campaign were Kevin Fannon, Sophie Coen, Kieran Coyle, Éabha Dolan, James Mooney and Adam Lalwani.

  The campaign was organised by Kilteevan Tidy Towns with the support of Rosommon Co. Council, Plastic-Free Roscommon, Roscommon Chamber of Commerce and the Vintners Federation of Ireland.

  The group stressed the fact that plastic straws last for 200 years. Kilteevan Tidy Towns asked everyone in Co. Roscommon to simply say ‘No Thank You to Plastic Straws’ because single-use plastic straws are a perfect example of a wasteful, highly environmentally damaging, day-to-day product that wreaks havoc in rivers, streams, bog ponds and oceans, while serving NO useful purpose.

  The need to kick our habits in relation to single-use plastic items was highlighted. The message from Kilteevan Tidy Towns was clear. We believe we can bring about change. We just need to do something about it

   Speaking at the launch, Kevin Fannon said the “the distressing and very upsetting video of the turtle with a straw stuck in its nose reminded all of us about the vulnerability of all our wildlife. We know that we all contribute to the problem, and it can seem difficult to know what to do about it”.

  “However”, Kevin added, “the full picture is not one of doom and gloom. As young people we believe that in relation to plastic, we are not helpless. We want to lead the way by starting with a small action of saying ‘no thank you to the plastic straw’.

  Sophie Coen informed the gathering that “it has been estimated that upwards of 500 million single-use plastic straws are thrown away in the United States alone every single day”. Sophie said “we want to free Co. Roscommon from single-use plastic items. Stopping our reliance on unnecessary single-use plastic at source is the key to becoming plastic-free”.

  Éabha Dolan stated “we, the young people of Kilteevan, care about our environment and we know that many other people young people care deeply about it too. We believe that by working together we can be part of a solution to some of our environmental problems”.

  Over the next few weeks the group will be visiting bars, restaurants and cafes in Roscommon asking service providers to support them in their campaign.

  They are also asking people in Co. Roscommon to sign a pledge promising to “say no thank you to the plastic straw”.

  Vice-chairperson of Roscommon Co. Council Cllr. Kathleen Shanagher complimented Kilteevan Tidy Towns on launching the campaign and congratulated the young people for their leadership in relation to the initiative. She also complimented the group for their achievements in the competition in the past four years and wished them every success in the 2019.