KEY POLICY AREAS

Current Policy

Policy on prevention, reuse, repair and recycling is covered under EU and National Waste Policy, Waste Plans and Waste Prevention Programmes. These publications are all available on our publications page here.

Policy Creation

CRNI actively engages in policy creation. Our key policy areas as set out below. Recent submissions to policy consultations are also available for download immediately below 

Better Design

The design phase of products is critical in driving effective reuse and recycling. Many CRNI members are finding it increasingly difficult to repair or refurbish goods, due to poor product design.

CRNI urges the Government to support the work undertaken via the Circular Economy package to support better design for reuse and recycling. We would also encourage leadership and innovation in this area through Ireland’s own design and manufacturing industry.

Eliminating Waste

Too many products are still consigned to energy recovery or landfill that could have been easily retained within the circular economy.

CRNI is encouraging a range of incentives to divert these goods back into the Circular Economy, including:

  • proper financial support for the take back of WEEE for preparation for reuse (backed by a target)
  • ensuring mattresses are recycled properly through Civic Amenity sites
  • Prioritising reuse at Civic Amenity Sites
  • ensuring local reuse options are prioritised in any future separate collection scheme for textiles  

We also seek to address soft barriers by raising awareness of reuse and recycling and encouraging innovation in the collection of goods for reuse directly from householders or via Civic Amenity Sites.

Changing behaviour

Driving demand for reused goods is key to the long term success of the reuse sector. Research in Ireland has identified that negative perceptions of reused goods can be a barrier.

To overcome these, we have developed Ireland’s Reuse Quality Mark ReMark, and are seeking support from Government to help promote reuse, through consumer behaviour campaigns such as National Reuse Month and demonstrate leadership in Green Public Procurement decisions. CRNI will also work to improve the procurement capacity of its members. In addition, Government is encouraged to support better access to retail space and marketing funds for reused goods.

Supporting the Reuse Sector

In order to meet the objectives of the Circular Economy package, it is critical that funding for reuse is put on a sustainable footing. It is also a legal obligation under the current Waste Framework Directive to prioritise reuse ahead of all other tiers of the hierarchy.

We believe that a national reuse target would help to provide recognition and drivers for reuse activities in Ireland. CRNI is working with CTC and Rediscovery Centre on a major research project to measure reuse which will support a future target. In line with a recent study done for the EPA (UpWEEE) we also support a phased target for Large Household Appliance and IT equipment preparation for reuse.

To help place reuse on a more sustainable footing we also propose a 0% VAT rate on second hand and refurbished goods and repair services.

Supporting the Recyling Sector

Many of our members in the community recycling sector deal with a narrow scope of materials (e.g. mattresses, WEEE) and are small scale by nature. However, these organisations currently face the same indemnifications and permit requirements as large scale commercial recyclers.

CRNI is seeking recognition of the niche role these organisations play in the form of a separate permitting system or relaxation on indemnifications.

Supporting the Community

One of the key services provided by community based reuse and recycling organisations is quality jobs and training opportunities. CRNI’s submission to the National Social Enterprise Policy Consultation highlighted the need for more joined up thinking on labour activation schemes in this sector.

We also wish to see the important role of social enterprises in delivering a more circular economy acknowledged in future legislation and policy, and greater collaboration between the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Department of Rural and Community Development and Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to support social enterprises.

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