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Éire Óg Academy hurlers, brothers Jordan and Teagan Hall cooling off with the new Éire Óg reusable water bottles pictured along with Gary Lanigan and Margaret Quin of Ennis Tidy Towns and Éire Óg coach Brian Cooney. Photograph by Natasha Barton

Joint initiative in Ennis sees kids show bottle on plastic question

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YOUNGSTERS at one Ennis GAA club are proving themselves to have a lot of ‘bottle’.

A joint initiative between Ennis Tidy Towns and Éire Óg GAA has resulted in the creation of very special recycled and reusable water bottles.

The bottles, which have been specifically designed to reflect the club’s colours of red and white, have been given to the club’s younger members in a bid to cut back on plastic waste.

As well as looking good and helping make sure the kids stay hydrated, they also aim to discourage the proliferation of single-use plastic bottles.

According to Cormac McCarthy, chair of Ennis Tidy Towns the young players have been “delighted” with the new bottles which have become a popular accessory at training sessions.

He explained, “One of the main focuses of the national Tidy Towns movement, as well as tidying towns is to develop sustainability initiatives.

“We are always looking to partner with local groups and organisations in the town. For example in the past, we have done initiatives with Ennis Track and our car idling project with the local schools.

“For this project we reached out to Éire Óg and they were very interested in doing something that would embed the idea of sustainability, particularly with the younger age groups in the academy.

“They are seeing a lot of single-use plastic bottles coming with kids to training events, so we came up with the idea of recycled reusable water bottles.”

As well as featuring the club’s colours, the bottles also show the club crest along with an image of a boy and girl playing.

“We wanted to get the message across about the need for sustainability and to embed a sense of ownership with the kids. That’s why we chose the Éire Óg colours, with a red cap and white bottle.

“There’s a bespoke logo, incorporating the club’s logo and including the children playing, reflecting the nature that the club caters for everyone. And it details that this is a sustainability project in partnership with Ennis Tidy Towns.”

He said there has been a very positive reaction from the club’s members.

“The kids love it and the trainers. They were very appreciative that we could help them with this project. This is very much a partnership project, we are co-funding it with Éire Óg.

“I think the GAA are very good in how they are engaging with biodiversity measures, sustainability, mental health and outreach.

“There are quite a lot of similarities between both Tidy Towns and the GAA in that they’re both very much dynamic organisations so this project really was a good fit and we’re delighted with
the results.”

Ennis is Ireland’s reigning Tidiest Town and volunteers have submitted their entry for this year. Cormac added that Ennis Tidy Towns would be delighted to hear from any other organisations that would like to get involved with developing future projects.

“We’re still on a high after the win, but it’s business as usual for us. We’re looking for organisations and groups around the town to develop more initiatives for next year’s submission and projects that will benefit the town and the community.”

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