Ireland will be amending relevant national waste legislation in order to implement the EU Circular Economy legislative package, which is a suite of EU Directives. These EU Directives contain amendments to existing EU Directives on waste which Ireland has already fully transposed and is compliant with. The Circular Economy legislative package will build on existing waste legislation in setting new, higher targets around waste collection and recycling for a number of waste streams including packaging, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), Batteries and accumulators, End-of-Life vehicles (ELVs) and the landfilling of waste. The transposition date for these amendments to be passed into national law is July 2020 and work is underway on this.
In addition, I am also awaiting the publication of a Directive from the EU Commission shortly, which will address the ten most identified single-use plastic products and fishing gear, that together account for 70% of the marine litter in Europe. Once published, I look forward to transposing this Directive which will enable me, inter alia, to:
- Ban certain plastic products
- Establish targets for reducing the use of certain plastics and
- Place obligations on producers to cover the costs of waste management and clean up for these items
The Circular Economy legislative package, in addition to the imminent single-use plastics Directive set out the legal framework for Ireland to continue moving towards a more Circular Economy.