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What you need to know about the State’s far-reaching new plan to cut waste

The blueprint aims to make the Republic one of the leading states in Europe on the issue

“A whole new waste plan for the country” is how Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Eamon Ryan describes the newly launched national waste policy for the next five years.

With 200 separate measures, the blueprint will “effect real change and allow us to be one of the leading countries in Europe” in spreading the responsibility for waste among producers and manufacturers as well as customers, Mr Ryan said.

Here are some of the main points in the plan:

– A deposit and return scheme which will see reverse vending machines reward customers for returning plastic bottles and cans with what is likely to be a voucher redeemable in shops;

– A “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups from 2022, followed by their being banned. Similar levies are proposed for containers for cold drinks and fast food;

– Standardised bin colours across the State on a phased basis, with black for general waste, green for recycling, and brown for organic waste;

– A waste oversight body to be set up for consumer complaints;

– A clampdown on householders not segregating waste, with fixed penalty fines for the worst offenders;

– Bin companies to be obliged to provide every customer with a brown organic waste bin;

– Improved segregated waste facilities for apartments;

– A single-use plastic ban starting next July, with all packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2030;

– A ban on multi-buy packs or “buy one, get one free” offers in supermarkets, which contribute to 30 per cent of food…

Brian Hutton

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