The Waste Management (Amendment) Act, 2001 provides for the establishment of an Environment Fund, to be managed and controlled by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment. Revenues from the levies on plastic shopping bags and the landfill of waste are paid into the Fund, which may be utilised, for a range of purposes. These include assistance in the following areas:
- schemes to prevent/reduce waste
- waste recovery activities
- research & development into waste management
- production, distribution or sale of products deemed to be less harmful to the environment than other similar products
- development of producer initiatives to prevent/reduce waste arising from their activities
- implementation of waste management plans
- enforcement of the provisions of any enactment relating to waste management, prevention of litter or protection of the environment
- partnership projects, that involve local authorities, to improve the quality of the environment for particular local communities
- promotion of awareness of the need to protect the environment, including national and regional campaigns
- promotion /support of education and training to assist achievement of campaign objectives
- resources (human or material) to enable education and training to be carried out
- initiatives undertaken by community groups and others for protection of the environment
- such other purposes for protection of the environment as may be prescribed by the Minister in regulations.
Environment Fund Accounts are prepared on an annual basis. These Accounts are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General and laid before the Oireachtas. Copies of the Accounts for the years 2001 to 2016 are available at the links below.