Cabinet has approved the general scheme of a bill that will introduce measures for CCTV and drones to be used in tackling illegal dumping, along with prohibitions on the exploration and extraction of coal.

The government is to draft new legislation to implement a circular economy, which will involve a “radical change” to production and consumption, limiting single use products and clamping down on littering and dumping, among other things.

The Circular Economy Bill 2021 is designed to implement actions in the government’s Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy and the forthcoming Circular Economy Strategy, and will put that strategy on a statutory footing.

The enforcement legislation for tackling dumping will be “data proofed” – GDPR-compliant – when it comes to the use of CCTV and other technologies such as drones, body cams and dash cams.

Bill to replace ‘take, make, dispose’ model

The bill will also place a National Food Loss Prevention Roadmap on a statutory footing, along with streamlining the processes for end-of-waste and by-products decisions.

The government will also introduce prohibitions on the exploration and extraction of coal, lignite and oil shale.

Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan said that the bill will replace the current “take, make, dispose” model with a circular economy.

“It is vital that waste and resource use are minimised by default; that good design preserves product value for as long as possible, via durability and repair; and that, when a product has reached the end of its life, its parts can be readily used again and again to create further useful products,” the minister added.

Bruton’s Circular Economy Strategy

Former environment minister Richard Bruton recently submitted a draft Circular Economy Strategy to the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action.

A circular economy thinking should become a “central spine of our climate planning” according to the Fine Gael TD.

The strategy seeks to set the following targets for Ireland:

  • Halve food waste within five years;
  • Halve the use of extracted raw material and residual waste by 2030;
  • No plastics to municipal incineration by 2030;
  • Double the size of the reuse sector within five years.