The negotiations referred to by the Deputy were in relation to amending Directives introduced by the EU as part of a Circular Economy Legislative Package. The legislative amendments form one element of the EU’s overarching policy statement on the Circular Economy, ‘Closing the Loop’, published at the end of 2015. The Directives amended were:
- Waste Framework Directive
- Packaging and Waste Packaging Directive
- Landfill Directive
- Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive
- Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators Directive
- End of Life Vehicles Directive.
Negotiations on these directives concluded in early 2018 and the amending directives were published in June 2018. The transposition deadline for these directives is June 2020.
My department is now examining how the legislative changes can be given effect in our national waste management laws. The Directives introduce challenging new targets for all Members States in the relation landfill waste reduction and increased recycling and recovery of waste packaging. They also expand the obligations on producers for taking responsibility for the end use of their products. The outcome of these negotiations, though challenging in certain aspects for Ireland, will form a basis for future waste management policy in Ireland and achieving compliance with the new Directives will be a policy priority.