Each year, Irish households produce around one tonne of waste. Whether it is recycled or ends up in landfill, all that waste must be transported, treated and disposed of. Any material that goes through that process represents waste of resources, materials, fuel and energy. More information on Ireland’s Waste Story is available here .
The waste sector was responsible for 1.5% of Ireland's Greenhouse Gas emissions in 2018. The waste sector includes emission estimates from solid waste disposal, composting, waste incineration, open burning of waste and wastewater treatment and discharge. The largest of these sources is solid waste disposal on land (landfills) where CH4 is the gas concerned. More information on Ireland’s waste emissions profile is available here .
In order to protect resources and help fight climate disruption, we need to change the way we approach production and consumption and work towards a more sustainable system. Moving away from the carbon heavy, linear model of the present “produce, use and dispose,” to a circular economy will change the way products and services are designed and delivered across Ireland.
The Government has already adopted a number of sustainable consumption measures internally by banning single use plastics , moving towards green public procurement , and commencing efficiency reviews and upgrades in areas like energy, waste and water consumption.
The Climate Action Plan includes specific targets combatting waste including reductions in household waste, landfill reliance, plastics and food waste. It also sets out ambitious recycling targets for municipal, plastic and packaging waste. Information on Ireland’s current waste statistics is available here .
Policy frameworks will also be developed to encourage and promote the circular economy and eco-friendly design which will filter positive choices through to consumers. In tandem with these developments, we can all take steps to familiarise ourselves with sustainable consumption.
Key measures set out in the Climate Action Plan to improve the waste sector, include:
Ireland is responsible for meeting targets under EU waste legislation including the Waste Framework Directive, the Landfill Directive and the Producer Responsibility Directives (Packaging and Packaging Waste, End-of-Life Vehicles, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, Batteries and Accumulators). Details on Ireland’s progress to date in meeting these targets are available here .
For more information on how you can minimise and manage your waste more sustainably and cut costs, see here.
Please click here to return to the main climate action page.