- The Circular Economy Bill will underpin Ireland’s shift from a system where resources are used once and dumped to a more sustainable model where the use and value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible.
- The Bill will introduce the mandatory segregation of commercial waste. At present, it is possible for commercial premises to dispose of their waste through a single, unsegregated, bin. This will no longer be possible.
- It will also allow local authorities to use GDPR-compliant technologies such as CCTV to detect and prevent illegal dumping and “fly-tipping” which is a blight across the country.
- A significant step will be the introduction of a small charge later this year on the use of disposable coffee cups, about 500,000 of which are sent to landfill or incineration every day. This is a 20c charge on disposable cups/containers rather than coffee or beverage itself. It is easily avoided by using a keep cup. Many cafés already charge people less for using them.
- Similar to the plastic bag levy, the aim of this levy is to change public behaviour rather than to raise revenue. Ideally, the State will make no money from its introduction, as behaviour quickly changes.
- Ultimately, the ambition is to make Ireland the first country in the world to eradicate disposable coffee cups.
- The Bill also contains many other measures, to move us away from “take-make-waste” linear model, to a more sustainable pattern of production and consumption.
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