Fees for landfill plastic among Government’s ‘radical action’ plan for waste

16 Sep 2019

Image: © DutchScenery/Stock.adobe.com

The Government has revealed its plans for tackling single-use plastics and landfill waste as part of a new ‘radical action’ plan.

The Government announced this morning (16 September) its plans to bring forward a number of levies and disincentives in order to reduce the country’s output of plastic waste and increase recycling efforts.

Described as a “radical” plan, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton, TD, is hosting a summit with key figures from industry, local authorities, waste collectors, household representative groups and NGOs to determine how this new policy will contribute to the Government’s Climate Action Plan.

As part of the new waste strategy, a number of previously mentioned actions will be introduced, including the expansion of the ban on single-use plastics from State bodies to the entire country. This will affect disposable items such as plastic plates, cutlery and straws.

There are also plans for the introduction of fees on non-recycling plastic such as that used in food packaging. Bruton said that levies on other single-use plastics are also being considered.

The Government also plans to double the rate of recycled material bring used, increase plastic recycling by 60pc and cut the State’s dependence on landfill by 60pc. It is also targeting a 50pc reduction in food waste.

‘Labels are confusing’

“Managing our resources properly is crucial to securing a better, more sustainable Ireland for future generations,” Bruton said.

“All along the supply chain we can do better. 70pc of food waste is avoidable, half of the material we use is not being segregated properly, two-thirds of plastic used is not on the recycling list and labels are confusing.”

The summit is expected to reveal some of its findings later today, but those present have been tasked with determining how sustainable alternatives to packaging can be introduced and how feasible levies for non-recyclable plastic will be.

“We are now deciding how to chart the route ahead. I am determined to step up ambition and put in place strong policy tools to deliver on our new targets,” Bruton added.

“Today is a chance to shape that roadmap. Leadership in this area is crucial if we are to secure a more sustainable, resilient Ireland for future generations.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic