VOLVO Cork week is aiming to turn the tide on plastics this year as it becomes the first Irish Regatta to take on the fight against discarded waste.
Organisers are proposing the use of reusable drink containers and other methods to cut out waste. They have also planned a series of beach cleans.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney, TD, launched the event, which takes place this year from July 16 to 21 at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.
Speaking at the launch on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, the Cork South-Central TD said, "It is always a pleasure to be asked to officially launch an event like Volvo Cork Week.
“Events like this are very important for Ireland, showcasing, as they do, the beautiful marine resource we have, particularly here in Cork Harbour, the second biggest natural harbour in the world.
“It is great to see Volvo Cork Week being the first Irish Regatta to take an active approach on the fight against plastics."
The Tánaiste added, “It is a subject that is very close to my heart and I will do all I can to assist them in their effort this year. Cork is truly at the forefront of sustainability and renewable energy, with MaREI (Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy) located here in Cork Harbour.”
Festival organisers this year will put an emphasis on reducing Volvo Cork Week’s impact on the environment.
Among the initiatives being proposed is that all competitors will be asked to use reusable drink containers and there will be water coolers/fountains available.
Suppliers will be asked to reduce their use of plastic and use compostable materials while education and outreach activities will be facilitated by MaREI.
The first of a series of beach cleanups took place during the launch.
Schoolchildren from Crosshaven took part in an initial clean up of the beach on Haulbowline Island.
This is the first in a series of nationwide beach cleanups Volvo have planned to help raise awareness of the #TurnTheTideOnPlastics initiative.