The Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy is Ireland’s first national circular economy strategy. The Strategy is a key addition to Government’s drive to achieve a 51% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to get on a path to reach net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, as per commitments in the Programme for Government
and the Climate Act 2021.
Meeting climate targets requires a transformation in the way we produce and use goods. The transition away from fossil fuels and energy efficiency measures can only address 55% of our emissions. The remaining 45% comes from making things.
A circular economy can have positive environmental, economic and social impacts, such as reduced plastic pollution, new jobs, and better quality, longer lasting, consumer products.
The Strategy was a specific commitment in the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy (WAPCE).
The purpose of this high-level, all-of-government strategy is to set a course for Ireland to transition across all sectors and at all levels of government toward circularity. Policy coherence across government will ensure all policy levers are set towards the same, sustainable objectives.
The WAPCE shifted focus away from waste disposal and towards how we can preserve resources by creating a circular economy. This Strategy further explores the opportunity for circularity across government and beyond, establishing a policy framework that can help turn a vision of circularity into tangible actions and results.
The Strategy explains what the circular economy is, why Ireland needs to achieve a circular economy and how national policy will develop to support that goal.
Specifically, it’s overall objectives are:
To provide a national policy framework for Ireland’s transition to a circular economy and to promote public sector leadership in adopting circular policies and practices
To support and implement measures that significantly reduce Ireland’s circularity gap, in both absolute terms and in comparison, with other EU Member States, so that Ireland’s rate is above the EU average by 2030; such measures to address facets of sustainable production and consumption most impactful in an Irish context
To raise awareness amongst households, business and individuals about the circular economy and how it can improve their lives
To support and promote increased investment in the circular economy in Ireland, with a view to delivering sustainable, regionally balanced economic growth and employment
To identify and address the economic, regulatory and social barriers to Ireland’s transition to a more circular economy
On enactment, the Circular Economy Bill will place the Circular Economy Strategy on a statutory footing, making the ongoing development of circular economy policy a legal requirement of Government. This first Strategy will proceed on a non-statutory basis.
Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy 2022 - 2023