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January 7, 2020

Ireland rolls out plan to tackle fast fashion waste

Ireland is rolling out a plan to tackle the issue of fast fashion disposal.

By Hannah Abdulla

Ireland is rolling out a plan to tackle the issue of fast fashion disposal.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, said a radical new waste strategy, which also encompasses food and plastic waste, aims to tackle the issue of fast fashion waste, adding more than half purchased is disposed of in less than a year.

“I am determined to address how we manage our waste as part of the Climate Action Plan. We must radically change our wasteful use of precious resources which damages our climate and our environment and compromises our future. Key targets are plastic waste, food waste, single-use habits (from fast fashion to plastic straws), poor waste separation and illegal dumping,” said Bruton.

75 measures have been identified, which Bruton says can be quickly implemented, including enforcing existing rules, encouraging audits and waste reduction targets and higher fees for difficult to recycle packaging.

Specifically, the new strategy will focus on measures to tackle fast fashion, better labeling for recyclable goods and targets to ensure correct bins are used, providing clearer information on what goes into each bin.

The Minister also said under the plan it will work with other EU member states to design the structure of an EU-wide plastic packaging tax to encourage the further prevention of plastic packaging.

An advisory group will assist in the production of the new policy. Consultations on a range of measures, administrative and legislative, are seeking views until 21 February. 

These consultations will enable Ireland to develop a new waste policy / circular economy plan to meet the emerging challenges and build on the targets set out in the Climate Action Plan. The completed policy will also match the level of ambition in the Waste and Climate areas being shown across the EU.

The European Commission recently launched a proposal for a European Green Deal, setting a roadmap for a climate-neutral continent by 2050. The Green Deal encompasses a range of actions supporting circularity and sustainability. These actions will lead to new proposals for resource-intensive sectors such as construction, textiles, electronics and plastics and will include provisions on environmentally aware product design, Green Public Procurement, and an EU model to standardise separate waste collection. Negotiations on the deal commence in 2020.

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