Ireland Begins Single Use Plastic Bottle Review

Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Minister Richard Bruton has announced a review that will consider how the country can deliver a 90% collection target for single use plastic bottles.

This review will also examine the possibility of introducing a Deposit and Return Scheme (DRS) and how this might operate in an Irish context.

Plastic waste makes a major contribution to the “chronic problem of pollution, damaging our cities, countryside and oceans”, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment says.

The target is to increase overall plastic recycling rate to 55% by 2030. For single use plastic drinks bottles, the government is committing to a collection rate of 90% by 2029.

The review will consider what is the best model to achieve this ambitious 90% target. The analysis will look at the current Irish waste collection system, international best practice in this area and how Ireland can bridge the gap from the targets already being achieved to the new, higher target. Once the review has been completed and an approach agreed,the Minister will announce the actions which need to be taken.

Minister Bruton – “If we are serious about making Ireland a leader in responding to climate change, we must tackle our plastic waste. We must stretch ourselves and commit to more ambitious plastic collection targets, if we are to put ourselves on a more sustainable path.”

Launching the review, Minister Bruton said: “On average, every person generates approximately 58kg of plastic waste per year. Plastic waste makes a major contribution to the chronic problem of pollution, damaging our cities, countryside and oceans.

“If we are serious about making Ireland a leader in responding to climate change, we must tackle our plastic waste. We must stretch ourselves and commit to more ambitious plastic collection targets, if we are to put ourselves on a more sustainable path.

“Today, I am announcing a review to look at how we can achieve a 90% collection rate for single use plastic bottles. The introduction of a Deposit and Return Scheme, is one option the review will look at. I want to learn from international best practice in this area. Once the review has been completed, I will move quickly to set out the actions we must take in this area.”

The Department is commissioning an analysis report into how Ireland could achieve the proposed 90% collection target for beverage containers in Ireland, including the potential to implement a Deposit and Return Scheme (DRS) and how this might operate in an Irish context. This requires an understanding of the existing waste collection system in Ireland for beverage containers that could be included in a DRS, the identification of key stakeholders, and what model could work best in an Irish context.

A cost benefit analysis of implementing alternative, complementary collection models is required, and a clear understanding of how best to achieve a higher collection rate for beverage containers with consideration to any likely impact on the existing waste collection system. This can include any impact on existing kerbside collection and management of public authority waste infrastructure such as litter bins.


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