Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (2247)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

2247. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the steps being taken to ensure that plastic sent abroad by waste collectors here is recycled; the locations to which the plastic is being sent; if minimum standards for workers and or the environment at those locations are being met; the way in which the carbon footprint of the transport of materials is being measured; his plans to incentivise local or European plastic recycling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33097/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The legislative framework for the import and export of waste in the European Union is set out in Regulation (EC) No. 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council. This Regulation implements in EU law the provisions of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal as well as the OECD Decision Concerning the Control of Transboundary Movements of Waste Destined for Recovery Operations. The Regulation includes a ban on the export of hazardous wastes to non-OECD countries as well as a ban on the export of waste for disposal to such countries. The fundamental purpose of this system is to ensure that not only is waste moved to another country with that country’s advance knowledge, but that wastes from the EU are not dumped in less developed countries. Under the Waste Management (Shipments of Waste) Regulations 2007, Dublin City Council was designated as the National Competent Authority for all waste exports and imports and the National Transfrontier Waste Shipment Office (NTFSO) was established under the auspices of Dublin City Council. The primary aim of the Regulations is to prevent the illegal shipment of waste abroad, and to assist businesses engaged in legitimate waste export activities.

Any proposals for the shipment of waste must first be brought to the attention of the National TFS Office by means of the submission of an application, known as a notification, consisting of a notification document and a movement document.

The Notification Document provides the Competent Authorities of countries concerned in the proposed waste shipment with information such as the waste type, waste generator, intended quantity of shipments, disposal/recovery process, expiry date etc. The Movement Document, must accompany the waste shipment at all times through the countries of transit on route to the disposal/recovery facility in the country of destination and only facilities authorised by the competent authority in destination countries are permitted to accept imported waste. This document provides information on the notifier, importer, carriers of the consignment, means of transport etc. The main objective of this document is to track and trace the movement of the waste shipment from cradle to grave, including the certification regarding the acceptance and the completed recovery/disposal operation at the authorised waste recovery/disposal facility.

A Certification of Completion is completed by the disposer or recoverer to certify the completion of the disposal or recovery of the waste. Signed copies of the movement document with this certification need to be sent to the notifier and competent authorities of dispatch, transit and destination as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the completion of the recovery or disposal and no later than one calendar year following the receipt of the waste.

The NTFSO compiles an annual register for movement of both Amber and Green list waste; the latest registers compiled by the NTFSO deal with 2018 and can be accessed on its website at

http://www.dublincity.ie/main-menu-services-water-waste-and-environment-waste-and-recycling-national-tfs-office/ntfso-waste.

Minimum standards regarding workers’ rights and environmental standards in other States are a matter for the authorities in those States.

Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2019 has ten dedicated actions which focus on waste and the Circular Economy. Our focus will be on designing out waste, prioritising prevention of waste at every opportunity through eco-design, reuse and repair, market restriction and levies.

Ireland is working closely with other Member States in the European Union. We are working on the development of policy instruments which shall include:

- Regulatory changes;

- Market incentives;

- Promotion, labelling and the provision of information on sustainable practices;

- Developmental work with the sector to improve our capacity to deliver our goals.

Included in the regulatory changes will be the amended Waste Framework Directive which promotes the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) model and aims to make it more effective through minimum common requirements.

As part of the Climate Action Plan, we will identify opportunities to strengthen the regulatory and enforcement frameworks and structures for the waste collection and management system, to maximise the collection of clean, segregated materials for reuse and/or recycling from all households and businesses, and to incentivise consumers to reduce, reuse and recycle.

The Climate Action Plan also commits to regulating and incentivising producers of waste, particularly packaging, to ensure the prevention of waste and the use of recycled materials in packaging products. A core opportunity for improving EPR measures is to develop economic incentives which favour circular products and business models.