Head of Marketing and Communications, Repak
From July 2023, big changes are on the way for Irish businesses, as incentivised waste segregation will come into effect for commercial waste.
Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan, has signed new legislation green-lighting the move, which will soon see businesses operating similarly to residential properties when it comes to waste segregation. A staggering 70% of disposed commercial waste is missing out on being recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2018 study.
The knock-on effect means that businesses are paying more for waste disposal than they should be, failing to avail of the lowered costs associated with segregation. In a bid to tackle this, businesses will have an incentivised way to get rid of their packaging in a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective way.
Reaching targets with incentivised waste segregation
Similar to all homes across Ireland since 2017, businesses will be provided with three designated bins to separate waste into. These will cover food waste, recycling and general waste. It’s a welcome incentive, as the move will also increase Ireland’s chance of reaching its EU recycling targets for 2025 and 2030.
In 2020, Ireland recycled 41% of its municipal solid waste, but the EU Waste Framework Directive wants that figure to increase to 55% by 2025 and 60% by 2030. Under the Government’s plans to achieve this target, businesses will play a key role as new regulations are being brought in for commercial waste collection.
Particularly in the area of plastic recycling, Ireland is currently facing its greatest challenge. Repak estimates that our current recycling rate is 33% for 2022, meaning there’s a projected shortfall of 17% ahead of 2025’s target and a worrying 22% gap from the 2030 aim.
Waste collection companies will have to provide
businesses with general waste, mixed dry
recyclables and biowaste bins.
Advantages of recycling for Irish businesses
Waste collection companies will have to provide businesses with general waste, mixed dry recyclables and biowaste bins. Collectors must also give detailed breakdowns of what they are doing with the waste, including what’s being recycled and disposed of and the associated costs for each method. This information can help businesses track their individual performance and assess areas for improvement.
Businesses will be put on a price plan to ensure that general waste will always be the more expensive option, incentivising a commitment to mixed dry recycling and biowaste recycling. While recycling may be a more time-consuming method, the motivation lies in reduced waste disposal costs for businesses and a rewarding contribution to lowering Ireland’s harmful emissions.