Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, today (4th July 2014) announced the publication of the final report of the review of the Producer Responsibility Initiative (PRI) model in Ireland. (appendices).
Minister Hogan said, “I am pleased to welcome the final report of the review of the Producer Responsibility Initiative in Ireland. This comprehensive report is the first to provide a detailed and robust scrutiny of the process whereby producers take responsibility for the products they place on the market at their end of life. Accordingly, I am pleased to note the reports key finding that the producer responsibility model in Ireland has operated successfully and has succeeded in meeting the majority of our domestic and European waste targets.”
The Minister also noted that the report identified significant challenges to be overcome, principally in the area of waste tyres and end of life vehicles. The Minister added “at the start of this review, I gave priority to certain reports so that they would be concluded ahead of the main report and allow implementation of recommendations to commence immediately. For example, I established Working Groups in the Tyres and ELV sectors earlier this year and am pleased to note the progress being made.”
Commenting further on the report, the Minister noted that “the report is an in-depth study of an area where there are many complex topics and issues which are shared by a number of economic operators who are involved in producer responsibility. This report will have positive affects for the stakeholders within the sector including producers, the compliance schemes, local authorities, regulatory authorities, and the general public who have shown their strong support for recycling in Ireland. These recommendations will bring regulatory clarity to many aspects of the sector; will make the structure clearer, with less administrative burden while also importantly contributing to Ireland continuing to reach our environmental goals.”
The report contains approximately 170 recommendations some of which are cross cutting and others which are specific to individual waste streams. Some of the recommendations include;
• A mandate for the Producer Responsibility Organisations (PRO’s) to collaborate with one another or the EPA with a view to launching cross stream education and awareness initiatives,
• Establishment of a dedicated PRI enforcement unit or centre of excellence in line with the roll-out of new local authority enforcement structures. The unit would be set up to facilitate the concentration of specialised expertise at national and regional levels, facilitating the coordination of PRI enforcement activities and the tackling of transboundary illegal activities.
• PROs to develop proposals for encouraging waste prevention and reuse in line with EU, national and regional policies and programmes.
• The State to investigate the possibility of instructing the PROs to direct waste to be processed in Ireland using only national waste infrastructure.
• Reducing administrative costs by limiting duplication in terms of systems and data, and facilitating data sharing.
• The development of a centralised electronic registration system for obligated producers.
• The report identified other waste streams which might be suitable for development as PRI’s.
The Minister continued “I am very grateful to all of the stakeholders across the sector that have contributed to this review and offered their input. I am announcing a further period of consultation on this final report which will run until mid- September.”
The report will be published on the Departments website and further information is available at www.environ.ie
Note for Editors.
1. The review of the Producer Responsibility Initiative commenced in June, 2012 with a public consultation. Four reports were completed in advance of the main report which issued today. Details of these reports and their date of publication are set out below:
1) Corporate Governance, July, 2013,
2) Consideration of a Packaging Levy, September, 2013,
3) End of Life Vehicles – November, 2013,
4) Tyres and Waste Tyres – November, 2013.
2. Current producer responsibility initiatives
The principal producer responsibility initiatives operating in Ireland are, as follows:
• End of Life vehicles (ELV’s)
• Farm Plastics
3. Definition of Producer Responsibility.
Extended Producer Responsibility is a concept where manufacturers and importers of products should bear a significant degree of responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products throughout the product life-cycle, including upstream impacts inherent in the selection of materials for the products, impacts from manufacturers’ production process itself, and downstream impacts from the use and disposal of the products. Producers accept their responsibility when designing their products to minimise life-cycle environmental impacts, and when accepting legal, physical or socio-economic responsibility for environmental impacts that cannot be eliminated by design. OECD Definition.