At Jones, we recognise the growing awareness around the demand for responsible business behaviour with issues relating to sustainability, ethics and respect for all of our stakeholders. We are extremely passionate about culture, diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace and recognise the impacts that they have on both their environment and the society in which they operate.
Waterways Cleanup Initiaitive
In a powerful display of environmental responsibility and community spirit, 60 dedicated employees from our company recently volunteered their time and effort to participate in a cleanup initiative that targeted three major water bodies in Ireland. Sandymount Beach in Dublin, The Royal Canal in Kildare, and Gobby Beach in Ringaskiddy Cork were the focus of this impactful endeavor. Together, the teams managed to pull an astonishing 187kg of rubbish from these areas, contributing significantly to the ongoing battle against plastic pollution in our waterways.
The urgency of this issue cannot be overstated. Microplastics, tiny particles of plastic less than 5mm in size, have been found in over 90 percent of Ireland’s protected marine environments. Shockingly, on a global scale, approximately 8 million tons of plastic find their way into our oceans every year. If current trends persist, it is estimated that by 2025, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in the ocean. Looking further ahead, by 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight. These alarming statistics underscore the critical need for initiatives like the Waterways Cleanup Initiative.
Ireland holds a unique place in the fight against plastic pollution. In 2002, it became the first country to develop a policy specifically addressing the use of plastic bags, setting an example for the rest of the world to follow. Despite such strides, the battle is far from won. A staggering 70% of the debris that enters our oceans sinks into the ecosystem, with an additional 15% floating and 15% ending up on our beaches. The most common culprits found during the cleanup, such as cigarette butts, plastic bottles and caps, food packaging, plastic bags, aluminum cans, and disposable vapes and fishing equipment, pose a significant threat to marine life and ecosystems.
The environmental impact of these items is staggering. Cigarette butts, for instance, take approximately 14 years to decompose. Plastic bottles and caps can persist in the environment for a staggering 450 years. Food packaging, depending on its type, can take anywhere from 20 to 500 years to break down. Plastic bags, ubiquitous in our daily lives, take 10 to 20 years to decompose, while aluminum cans can take 200 to 500 years to fully degrade. The most alarming of all, disposable vapes, can take up to 1000 years to break down, releasing harmful substances into the environment as they do so.
The cleanup efforts at Sandymount Beach, The Royal Canal, and Gobby Beach are not just isolated events. They are a testament to our collective responsibility toward our planet. Each piece of rubbish removed, each bit of plastic properly disposed of, contributes to a cleaner, healthier environment for all.
As part of community program, we are donating €3000 to Flossie and the Beach Cleaners to assist in the continuation of their great and impactful work. With this donation, we are sponsoring two DEIS primary school workshops. These workshops are designed to empower the next generation to engage in effective, practical activities that make a real difference to our planet, both locally and globally.
Together, let’s continue to make waves for change, one cleanup at a time.