If you are sick of our throw-away culture and want to see it change, then here is an action you can take to make a difference.
THE STORY SO FAR
Ireland is working out what our circular economy will look like. This is one of the foundational moves we can make as a nation to ensure that we are living sustainably. We need to make sure that the right infrastructure, language and legislation is in place so that all stakeholders and citizens are operating in a system that is truly circular and not linear (like the throwaway culture we currently operate within).
This will affect every citizen, every business and every bin in the country.
The government have written a draft bill called the Circular Economy Bill. If passed this bill will become law. We at VOICE have been campaigning for a bill like this for many years, so we are excited to be so close to realizing our dreams.
However, it is not passed yet. It still needs to be passed by government and we would like to see this happen quickly.
In November the Joint Committee on Environment and Climate (the committee) invited experts like ourselves and our E-NGO peers to make submissions on how the Circular Economy Bill could be improved.
We were all heartened to learn that the committee not only listened but recommended the bill be amended to include our suggestions.
The following suggestions were made by us and other E-NGO’s such as Rediscovery Centre, Friends of the Earth, CRNI etc. Here are just a few of the important amendments supported by the committee;
· Strengthening the monitoring and evaluation of strategies, targets and roadmaps including clear lines of accountability and regular progress reporting;
· Making it mandatory for the Minister to set sectoral reuse and refill targets and impose levies and fines instead of ‘may’;
· Removing the word ‘waste’ and prioritising prevention, preparation for re-use and recycling throughout the Bill;
· the addition of three items, including single use sugar/condiment items, hotel toiletries, wet wipes and other troublesome products, to the list of single use products to be banned where reusable alternatives exist;
· broadening the scope of appropriate qualitative or quantitative indicators and targets to include food waste prevention and other sectoral waste prevention targets, the adoption of refillable and reusable packaging systems; and
· banning the use of PFAS – ‘forever chemicals’ – in food contact materials, such as paper and board containers;
If the Circular Economy bill, with the suggested amendments made by the committee included, is passed into law, Ireland could potentially be transformed.
THIS BILL WILL AFFECT US ALL
Imagine all of the unnecessary plastic on your fruit and veg is gone. Imagine being able to return your takeaway containers to be refilled and reused by restaurants. Imagine VAT relief/Tax reductions on refurbished or repaired items. Imagine being able to refill your own containers at the supermarket. Imagine being able to close the lid of your recycling bin.
All of this is possible if our government accepts the recommendations made by the Joint Committee on Environment and Climate (the Committee) and passed this bill into law.
You too can take action, ask your local TD to support this bill in full
Find out who your TD is HERE