In June 2012, as part of a commitment in the Programme for Government to examine the introduction of a levy on packaging in conjunction with a waste reduction programme, I initiated a root and branch review of all aspects of the Producer Responsibility Initiative model in Ireland. The aim of the review was to assess the nature and level of the challenges which are currently facing the existing Producer Responsibility Agreements as well as the forthcoming challenges that are expected to arise in the management of various waste streams. My Department also completed a consultation process with stakeholders on this issue.
Following completion of the consultation process and the receipt of the consultant's report, I decided, after careful consideration, not to proceed with the introduction of a packaging levy at this time. The primary reason for my decision is that the introduction of a packaging levy is likely to generate a number of regulatory costs to business and the public sector with few identifiable benefits, given our very successful packaging recovery and recycling performance to date in Ireland. In addition, the consultant's report does not recommend the introduction of a Deposit and Refund scheme as to establish such a scheme is inappropriate, in view of the operation of the existing packaging scheme [Repak] and policies concerning household waste collection, plus the high administrative costs of introducing such a system.
The consultant's report is available on my Department's website and can be accessed at: http://www.environ.ie/en/PublicationsDocuments/FileDownLoad,34038,en.pdf.