The quantity of waste generated in Ireland is closely linked with economic activity, income levels and consumption patterns. Increased waste generation and poor waste management practices can negatively affect our climate, biodiversity, health and wellbeing.
Ireland’s waste management practices, infrastructure and regulation have matured significantly over the last 20 years. Ireland’s national waste policy was reviewed in 2020 to strengthen the focus on the ‘circular economy’ in which waste is prevented, reuse and repair initiatives are incentivised, recycling is maximised, and residual waste that cannot be recycled is used as an energy source to replace fossil fuels.
A Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy was published in September 2020 and updated in September 2021. It is Ireland’s new roadmap for waste planning and management. The whole of government Circular Economy Strategy, published in 2021, provides a national policy framework for Ireland’s transition to a circular economy and the Circular Economy Act 2022 places the strategy and Ireland’s commitment to a circular economy, on a clear statutory footing and underpins relevant measures.