A group of secondary school students from Counties Cork and Limerick, who attend Charleville CBS, Co. Cork presented their plan to reduce Europe's “carbon cup print” to Members of the European Parliament and policymakers in Brussels this week, hosted by Seán Kelly MEP, Ireland South MEP and Ambassador to the school.

“My congratulations to the students Conor Buckley, Eamonn O'Sullivan and Conor O'Brien from Co Cork, and Luke Moore and Aidan Donegan from Co. Limerick who pitched their ideas to MEPs and policymakers they met in the European Parliament this week. They outlined their plan to reduce our carbon cup print or the reusable cup waste, and therefore reduce deforestation, landfill, water waste and CO2 emissions,” Mr Kelly said.

The Charleville CBS students, all aged 17 years old, made their presentation to MEPs present, including Karl-Heinz Florenz MEP, a lead negotiator on the Waste Directive), and Paulo De Silva (Policy Advisor, Sustainable Products, Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption, Circular Economy and Green Growth, DG ENVI). The teenagers also met with Tara Connolly of Greenpeace.

“At the meeting, the students made their case very well and clearly told us, with regard to Climate Change objectives, at the rate we are going, carbon emissions will only be reduced by 6 percent in Ireland by 2020,” said MEP Kelly, lead negotiator for the largest Parliamentary group in the European Parliament on the Renewable Energy Directive.

Addressing the EU meeting, the Cork and Limerick students underlined that Over 500 billion disposable cups are used worldwide each year and for every reusable paper cup produced, ¼ pound of CO2 is released into the atmosphere. A further 4 Billion pounds of CO2 are released into the atmosphere during the shipping of the disposable cups. One million disposable cups sent to landfill per minute, yet it takes 30 years for a disposable cup to break down. 20 million trees are cut down, and 12 billion gallons of water are used annually to make disposable cups.

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