Ireland uses the Extended Producer Responsibility model for dealing with waste packaging. Repak, the national producer responsibility scheme for packaging, is a not for profit organisation which charges fees to its members in accordance with the amount and type of packaging they place on the Irish market. These fees are used to subsidise the collection and recovery of waste packaging through registered recovery operators across Ireland. Because Repak members pay fees based on the amount of packaging they place on the market, this incentivises them to reduce packaging where possible and in so doing to reduce their fees. To assist members to optimise their packaging, Repak employ packaging technologists who work with their member companies.
In addition to the above, I am working closely with the EU Commission and other Member States to develop an EU wide legislative package for dealing with single-use plastic products. While we continue to work on the detail of the measures to be introduced, the following are the core elements:
- A ban on certain plastic products
- Targets for reducing the use of certain plastics and
- Obligations for producers to cover the costs of waste management and clean up.
I will be encouraging the Commission and other Member States to expedite the introduction of these measures so that we can introduce meaningful measures to tackle these difficult waste streams.