Last week Environment Minister Phil Hogan launched a review and public consultation of the country’s Producer Responsibility Initiative (PRI) model in a bid to meet future domestic and EU recycling targets.
Under the review, the Irish Government is to consider whether additional waste streams should fall under PRI schemes. Currently PRI applies to WEEE, batteries, packaging, end-of-life vehicles, tyres and some farm-based plastics.
The consultation document states: “Are newspapers, magazines and farm plastic chemical containers suitable from an environmental and economic viewpoint for the development of a possible PRI?”. It also suggests that voluntary agreements might be another option if legislation is deemed not to be suitable.
The paper also reveals that some existing compliance schemes wish to branch out and cover additional waste streams to provide a one-stop-shop for their members and meet their recycling through a total waste management solution.
In relation to existing PRI schemes, the Government is to re-examine the visible fee system for WEEE and may look to give reuse greater priority in its policy going forward.
On packaging ministers will also explore the concept of a levy system and how it might work in tandem with operation of compliance schemes.