DIRECTIVE 94/62/EC ON PACKAGING & PACKAGING WASTE
Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste and Amendments is the basis for Irish packaging legislation. The Directive broadly defines packaging and requires that packaging recovery systems be put in place. The Directive requires that a hierarchical approach be adopted to manage packaging waste, with the emphasis on waste reduction, reuse and recycling initiatives.
In the case of Ireland, the Directive set a packaging recovery target of 25% to be met by 2001 (has been met), with a target of 50% set for the end of 2005, with a minimum of 15% recovery for specified materials. As a country we must meet a recovery target of 60% by 2011 and material specific targets that range from 15% (wood) to 60% (paper and glass).
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WASTE MANAGEMENT (PACKAGING) (AMENDEMENT) REGULATIONS 2004
The Waste Management (Packaging) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 is intended to Facilitate the transposition and implementation of Directive 2004/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council in particular, introduce measures aimed at facilitating the achievement by end 2011 of a new overall increased packaging waste recovery target of 60% (with 55% by way of recycling) in addition to a prescribed range of material specific recycling targets.
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WASTE MANAGMENT (PACKAGING) REGULATIONS 2003
In 2003, the government enacted what are commonly referred to as the Packaging Regulations, which give effect to Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste. These regulations replaced the Packaging Regulations of 1997.
The Packaging Regulations place particular obligations on major producers of packaging, i.e. businesses with an annual turnover in excess of €1.27 million and placing more than 25 tonnes of packaging onto the Irish market. Major producers must either register with a packaging compliance scheme, i.e. Repak, and pay an annual material specific fee for packaging placed onto the Irish market, or self-comply through registering with their local authority and accepting packaging waste back from the public similar to that which is supplied onto the market.
In addition, the Packaging Regulations require all commercial premises to segregate 7 specified packaging wastes and send for recycling with an authorised waste collector. Those specified packaging wastes are aluminium, fibreboard, glass, paper, plastic sheeting, steel and wood.
The Packaging Regulations also specify what is known as the Essential Requirements of packaging. These requirements are designed to minimise the environmental impact of packaging. To find out more about Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations.
WASTE MANAGEMENT ACTS 1996 & 2001
The majority of Ireland’s waste legislation originates from the Waste Management Acts 1996 and 2001, as well as the Protection of the Environment Act, 2003. These primary pieces of national waste legislation allow for the enactment of statutory instruments (referred to as regulations) to give effect to specific sections of the Acts.
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