Date: 16 Dec 2021
Launch of new Strategy for Irelands transition to a Circular Economy
The Minister of State with responsibility for the Circular Economy at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, Ossian Smyth TD, has launched Ireland’s first Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy 2022-2023.
A circular economy is one in which waste and resource use are reduced, in which clever design preserves product value for as long as possible, via durability and repair and where, when a product has reached the end of its life, its parts can be readily used repeatedly to create further useful products. For example, reusable coffee cups and bike repair outlets are common examples of contributions to the circular economy.
The Climate Action Plan 2021 has embedded circular economy principles as a horizontal measure across all sectors as well as adopting several standalone objectives for advancing circularity as a strategic government objective.
The strategy will address a policy gap that exists in Ireland’s national policy framework. It sets out a vision for Ireland’s transition to circularity; explaining the concept of the circular economy, describing what initiatives are undergoing, what opportunities are available and how Government will drive the changes required.
The strategy will:
1) Showcase public sector leadership, using policy tools such as green public procurement as well as supporting circular economy practices across the entire public sector
2) Establish and implement an education and awareness campaign – for individuals, households, communities, and the public and private sectors
3) Recognise priority sectors for the development of sectoral circular economy roadmaps
4) Assemble a consultative advisory group, from amongst stakeholders, to input into policy development and implementation
5) Develop an interdepartmental working group to oversee the integration of circular economy policies and practices across public policy
To coincide with Government’s announcement, we also witnessed the launch of a new Circular Economy Programme from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The programme has been formulated to support the Government’s circular economy policy agenda. It will feature the previous National Waste Prevention Programme, which will be the driving force for Ireland’s move to a circular economy by businesses, householders and the public sector.
The launch will orchestrate the next six years of our transition away from waste disposal and treatment to ensure that the extraction and consumption of raw materials is minimised, and that waste is prevented and reduced at all stages of production. Simultaneously, this economic model will support the growth of our economy in a sustainable way.
Read more about the Circular Economy programme HERE