Among the key issues addressed in the Programme are promoting stable demand for recovered materials, supporting the achievement of economies of scale in the production of products made from recycled materials and the need for more recycling infrastructure in Ireland to reduce reliance on overseas markets. The effective implementation of this Programme is an important priority for this Department and measures to effect its implementation will be announced in the near future.
The widespread provision of segregated collections for dry recyclables, the increase in the number of bring banks and civic amenity sites, the increased awareness of the environmental benefits of recycling and the roll out of pay-by-use charging for refuse collections have contributed to a surge in materials recovery in recent years.
In 2008, the government funded the rx3 project to implement the Market Development Programme for Waste Resources.
Rx3 was a resource efficiency programme the aim of which was to develop markets for recyclable materials. The programme’s approach required a lifecycle consideration of the materials and was encapsulated by the slogan – rethink, recycle and remake. Full descriptions of the projects delivered under the programme are described in the final report published in July 2015.
Market Development Group
The Market Development Group was convened to promote increased recycling of materials recovered in Ireland to reduce exports of recyclable materials.
The work of the Group and the rx3 project provided a valuable platform for further policy development around resource efficiency and job creation in Ireland. The outputs of the project have been referenced extensively in the department’s public consultation ‘Exporting a Resource Opportunity’ concluding in March 2016 and will be helpful in informing Ireland’s response to the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package published in December 2015.