Councillor Karen Power welcomes the passing into law of the Circular Economy Act.

Councillor Power welcomes Circular Economy Act being signed into law by the President

New law has potential to divert hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill

It will allow Fingal County Council to use CCTV to catch illegal dumpers across the county

Skerries based Councillor Karen Power welcomed the passing into law of the Circular Economy Act.

These new laws are the completion of several commitments secured by the Green Party in the Programme for Government relating to waste, resource use and the circular economy.

Key elements of the new law include:

  • Phases out single-use packaging
  • Incentivises the use of reusable and recyclable materials in place of disposable ones
  • Introduces mandatory segregation for commercial waste
  • Allows for CCTV to be used to catch illegal dumpers
  • Prohibits exploration for and extraction of coal, lignite and oil shale.
  • Establishes a legal requirement for government to prepare a Circular Economy
  • Introduces a Strategy and National Food Loss Prevention Roadmap
  • Diverts environmental levies into a Circular Economy Fund to be ringfenced and used for environmental measures

Minister of State for Communications and Circular Economy Ossian Smyth said;

“Many of the provisions in this act are measures that the Green Party have been pushing for, for a long time.

“These measures, when taken together, will work to shift businesses, retailers, and consumers, off the current damaging and wasteful throwaway model to something more sustainable. This is simple stuff but it stands to have a huge impact.

“Lastly, I want to welcome the new Circular Economy Fund, which will take the money made from environmental levies and recirculate them to environmental and anti-waste initiatives. This is really an evolution of the Environment Fund which has been providing funds to environmental NGOs and other projects for many years. I’m glad we can now help put that funding on a more secure footing.”

Councillor Power in particular welcomed the news that the act will increase the powers that Fingal County Council will be able to use to tackle the scourge of illegal dumping and fly-tipping across the county:

“By cutting down on disposable items, tackling dumping, and forcing the segregation of all waste, this law has the potential to divert hundreds of thousands of tonnes of material from landfill and incineration.”

“Facilitating CCTV to tackle illegal dumping and fly changing will be a game changer for us in Fingal.”

The Circular Economy Act was enacted and became law following its signing by President Michael D Higgins. 

This Act underpins Ireland’s shift from a “take-make-waste” linear model – to a more sustainable pattern of production and consumption, that retains the value of resources in our economy for as long as possible. This approach will also significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

In a circular economy, waste and resource use are minimised. The use and value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible. When a product has reached the end of its life its parts are used again and again – to create further useful products, instead of being discarded which is an all too familiar pattern now.

The Act recently passed its final stages in the Dáil, and received broad cross-party support to introduce levies on all single-use packaging over time and where more sustainable alternatives are available. The final version of the Act now comprises more social protections, including measures to protect low-income households and people with disabilities.

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