VOICE is an environmental charity working extensively on waste prevention and the circular economy for over 25 years.  

By Abi O'Callaghan-Platt

From introducing the concept of a plastic bag levy in 2001 to the present, we have been one of the foremost environmental organisations pushing for behaviour change in how we manage and reduce our waste, from local action to strong government policy. VOICE has been at the forefront in advocating for reuse, leading the national rollout of DRS, driving the narrative around waste prevention and reuse and tackling new issues in this sphere leading the way forward to a truly circular economy.

VOICE welcomes the new Waste Management Plan for a Circular Economy. We appreciate the work that has gone into this document and the detail theauthors have included. VOICE welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on this document which has the potential to be the catalyst for real change from a linear or recycling economy to a fully circular one.  

Overall response

VOICE is delighted to see the inclusion of reuse and repair as a focus area for the 2023-2029 period and strong wording on the focus area of single-use plastics.

The 2023 report into Ireland’s progress on the SDGs[i]found that major challenges remain for SDG 12, Responsible consumption and production, and that our score on this SDG is decreasing. With the time frame for this WMP running up to 2029 and SDG 12 as the key goal tackled in this plan there is much to do to ensure we are reaching our goals under Agenda 2030.

This document outlines a solid framework for the shift toward a circular economy, we believe greater ambition is required to pivot business as usual toa truly circular economic model, we must ensure that one single-use disposable material is not substituted with another. To ensure the transition to reusebinding reuse targets are required, with firm timeframes. With this in mind we welcome the detail of this report and agree with the vision, however, VOICE urge for the inclusion of greater ambition in the final version of the WMP to fully realise the benefits that could be achieved through this plan.

[i] https://dashboards.sdgindex.org/profiles/ireland

Read our full Submission