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Irish regulator calls for waste taxes

The Irish government has been urged to intervene with taxes on certain waste streams, and other financial incentives, to boost recycling.

According to the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a levy on specific materials could help to drive investment in waste infrastructure – currently the Republic exports 300,000 tonnes of RDF each year, proportionately the highest in Europe.

EPA spokesman Dr Jonathan Derham told the Irish Times that taxing materials could be supplemented with:

  • a deposit scheme for cans and bottles
  • a requirement that pharmacists take back old medicines
  • a ban on certain types of packaging

Derham also suggested that a portion of waste bills be ringfenced to invest in bring-banks and other community waste facilities.

“I think the state will consider more waste taxation schemes to foster good behaviour,” he told the paper. “The taxation could be on the production side to foster sustainable activities, which could include making equipment more repairable.”

A new pay-by-weight waste system is due from 1 July 2016.

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