Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy an "important first step"


Ireland’s leading environmental coalition welcomed the publication of the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy today and has called it an “important first step” in ensuring cross-sector waste reduction. 

The Environmental Pillar is pleased to see key commitments that we have advocated for in relation to waste management, including the reduction of food waste, the introduction of a deposit and return scheme for plastic bottles and cans, and a levy on disposable cups. [1] 

Other positive aspects of the Plan include a ban on certain single use plastics from July 2021, a set of green criteria and circular economy principles in all public procurement, and a commitment to 100 percent reusable or recyclable packaging by 2030. 

The Plan also aims to oversee the development of a High-level All of Government Circular Economy Strategy, a document that the Department of Climate Action has previously committed to producing. 

Such a strategy will be crucial in creating a circular economy that is in line with the European Green Deal and we have the opportunity to be a European leader on this front. 

A circular economy benefits both people and the planet, as the model can mitigate climate change, save resources, prevent waste, and create jobs in the process. 

We urge the Department to capitalise on the momentum from this Waste Action Plan and work quickly towards publishing a cross-governmental and cross-sector circular economy strategy that will transform our environment and businesses through the lens of a Just Recovery. 

The Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar, Karen Ciesielski, said: 

“The publication of the Waste Action Plan is a welcome development from the Department of Climate Action and Minister Eamon Ryan, and serves as a solid blueprint for reducing our waste over the coming decade. 

We must now ensure commitments are implemented fully and fairly across all sectors. These actions must go beyond being points on a page and be actively fulfilled by those responsible. 

The Plan commits to publishing a Circular Economy Strategy, and we are calling on the Government to produce one that will kickstart this model in line with what is called for in the European Green Deal. 

We know the benefits of a circular economy are multifold for society and the environment. It can create jobs, support social enterprise and small-to-medium enterprises, and provide affordable products and services to the Irish public, all while mitigating climate change. 

We are now at a crossroads as we build back up in a post-pandemic economy. We have the opportunity to put ourselves on a totally economic different trajectory, one that is fairer and reduces our climate impact all at the same time. 

We urge the Government to do everything in its power to put us on that path.”  


[1] The Environmental Pillar’s submission on the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy https://bit.ly/3lMy0yV