Synthesis Report - ERTDI Report 22 - Coakley et al
Summary: Developing a framework for Ireland's waste prevention policies and programmes
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Ireland currently faces a major challenge regarding itsuse of materials and energy and its management of waste.The problems relating to solid waste in particular are welldocumented and have been quantified in several studies.The increase in waste arisings in Ireland during thedecade 1990–2000, no doubt influenced by the economicgrowth during that period, is of particular concern.
A radical, urgent and comprehensive response to theproblem of waste and materials is therefore required at alllevels in society and utilising a wide spread ofinstruments and initiatives. This response must befocused on prevention – to decouple waste creation fromeconomic growth and reverse current trends. One suchapproach involves the development and implementationof a waste prevention strategy and such a strategy isstrongly recommended in this study.
An inadequate approach to waste management,inefficient use of materials, a dependency on landfill, aresistance to change and an unacceptable level of illegaldumping are some of the inevitable manifestations of thechallenging situation consequent from the growing levelof waste creation that pertains to this country.Annual increases in waste arisings (almost 10% perannum from 1995 to 2000) confirm that Ireland has notyet succeeded in decoupling waste generation fromeconomic growth (as measured by Gross DomesticProduct – GDP). This is in contrast to the relativestabilisation of waste arisings in some other regionswhere practical measures have been implemented thathave been designed to arrest and reverse the growth inwaste production.
Full executive summary in report.