Polluter Pays Principle

In the last ten years our awareness and policies on waste management have improved. As previously shown the legislative framework is the Waste Management Act 1996, as amended by the Waste Management (Amendment) Act 2001 and the Protection of the Environment Act 2003. Nationally however, waste is managed by individual local authorities. More information on this structure can be found on the EPA's website in the section on regional waste management plans.

In the context of waste management, government policy now focuses on producer responsibility and the circular economy. This policy puts the burden on Irish householders and businesses to make sure their unnecessary waste is not generated, and where waste is generated that it is properly managed. In the context of properly managing waste, such obligations were used initially for packaging waste and farm plastic and more recently on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) and tyres.Similarily, the Batteries Directive (Directive 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators) enhances the use of producer liability for waste management.

The EPA provides a detailed overview of Ireland's current performance with respect to 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) (EPA, 2020).

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