The Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations 2014 promote the recovery of specified packaging waste. The Regulations impose obligations on all producers, including manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers, who in the course of business supply packaging to the Irish market.
The Regulations came into effect on 21 June 2014 and replaced all preceding packaging regulations.
The Waste Management Packaging Regulations were first introduced in 1997. The main purpose of the Regulations is to assist Ireland achieve national packaging recovery targets set under EU Directive 94/62/EC, as amended by European Parliament and Council Directive 2004/12/EC5 of 11 February 2004 and Commission Directive 2013/2/EU6 of 7 February 2013.
They place obligations on companies (producers) that place packaging, packaging material or packaged products on the Irish market.
All producers must segregate their packaging waste arising on site into specified waste streams and ensure that it is recycled or recovered. Producers with a turnover of €1 million that place 10 tonnes of packaging on to the market (major producer) are further obligated to either join Repak or register with Wicklow County Council (self comply) see below update.
Please note that the option to 'self-comply' under local authority oversight has been removed with effect from 1 January 2023. To comply with their obligations under the packaging regulations, 'major producers' are now required to become a member of an approved body. Repak operates Ireland’s only existing approved body for packaging.
The changes are being introduced to drive Ireland's collective environmental performance by supporting producers to do better in terms of packaging design, education, accountability and traceability. There are now ambitious new 2025 and 2030 targets for individual packaging streams (especially plastic). Ireland’s response to the challenge of meeting these targets requires that the system is designed to ensure all producers play their part on a fair and equivalent basis. The regulations were the subject of a public consultation which closed at the end of October.
To assist producers impacted by the change, Repak will provide switcher assistance for 'major producers' who previously self-complied.
The regulations come into operation on 1 January 2023 and the legislation can be found on the Irish Statute Book website.
The European Union (Packaging) Regulations 2014 place some basic obligations on all producers of packaging in Ireland. This includes separating packaging waste by material type, collecting and treating packaging waste, and providing data for national statistics. The amending regulations will not change these primary obligations.