Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea is calling on the public to make submissions on the development of a new Waste Action Plan for Ireland. This is part of a move to a more circular economy where resources are kept in use for as long as possible and then recycled or reused at the end of their service life.
Consultations on a range of measures, administrative and legislative, are now open and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is seeking views until Friday, February 21st. Interested parties can find further information here & here.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “This consultation will enable Ireland to develop a new waste policy/circular economy plan to meet the emerging challenges and build on the targets set out in the Climate Action Plan. The completed policy will also match the level of ambition in the Waste and Climate areas being shown across the EU.
“I would encourage the public to get involved, make submissions and ensure that their views are heard on this most important of topics.”
This week Cllr O’Shea’s colleague, Minister Richard Bruton TD, announced the key areas on which the government’s radical new waste strategy will focus.
Over 200kg of waste packaging, 59kg of which is plastic, is generated per person every year in Ireland, above average among our EU neighbours. More than half of fast fashion is disposed of in less than a year. Food waste alone costs homeowners €700 a year and accounts for a loss of €1 billion to our enterprises.
Minister Bruton said: “I am determined to address how we manage our waste as part of the Climate Action Plan. We must radically change our wasteful use of precious resources which damages our climate and our environment and compromises our future. Key targets are plastic waste, food waste, single use habits (from fast fashion to plastic straws), poor waste separation and illegal dumping.
“We need to act now and we have identified 75 measures which can be quickly implemented. These include: enforcing existing rules, encouraging audits and waste reduction targets, higher fees for difficult to recycle packaging and bringing commercial vehicle tyres into the successful tyre recycling scheme.
“We may also introduce mandatory brown bin collections, ban bulky waste from landfill, place costs of cigarette butt clean up on the tobacco industry and expand the items allowed in the green bin. Sectoral initiatives will be promoted, particularly in the food sector. We will ban single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks, cotton bud sticks, polystyrene cups and food containers and introduce fees on non-recyclable plastics, like on food packaging in supermarkets. A major study of crime in the waste sector will also be undertaken.”
The government’s new waste strategy will also focus on the following key areas, which the government is seeking input on:
Measures to tackle fast fashion
Better labelling for recyclable goods
Targets to ensure correct bins are used, providing clearer information on what goes into each bin
Measures to halve food waste
Ending the use of non-recyclable plastic
How to further crack down on illegal dumping
Incentivising the use of recycled materials in the construction industry
Working with other EU Member States to design the structure of an EU wide plastic packaging tax to encourage the further prevention of plastic packaging.
How we can raise awareness among individuals and businesses on how best to manage their waste. This will include consideration of making waste prevention/recycling part of the school curriculum
The Minister has today also announced the establishment of an Advisory Group, who will assist in the production of the new policy. The Group chaired by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and comprised of representatives from environmental NGOs, the Industry, and the regulatory sector will meet for the first time in January.