Higher levies for producing non-recyclable plastics on way, Minister says

Higher levies for producing non-recyclable plastics on way, Minister says

Manufacturers face higher levies for producing non-recyclable plastic goods under plans agreed between businesses and the government.

Environment Minister Richard Bruton announced the higher fines today while also encouraging consumers to “self-police” when using plastic products, such as straws, plates or cups.

However, the minister declined to say what extra levies would be applied to manufacturers and when.

Speaking after meeting business CEOs in Dublin about efforts to reduce plastic use and foods waste, he told media:

“We are seeing two thirds of the plastics that we use are not on the recyclable list. So there is huge scope for us to do a lot better.

People need to recognise the link between food waste and the way we use plastics with our impact on greenhouse gases and the climate.

He said more focus would be on the products being used:

“The hard plastics are recyclable but a lot of the film that is used on top of them, are not. This would be about imposing higher levies on those who use materials that are not entirely recyclable because then you create a problem for the waste collector.

“The [extra] fee would be paid by the manufacturer based on the packaging they use. I intend to start action on some of the measures that we will use. But I will publish the plan early in the New Year.”

Currently Repak, involving businesses and the department, administer levies for manufacturers for products that use non-recyclable goods.

Some measures will also be brought forward quickly to further reduce waste.

Mr Bruton singled out one system in use in Sligo where the use of compostable bags for households had reduced contamination for bins by 20% to just 1%.

He said more change was needed in this areas overall as currently some 50% of organic waste in Irish households does not end up in brown bins.

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