Ireland passes nationwide Circular Economy Act to minimise its waste and emissions

Ireland passes nationwide Circular Economy Act to minimise its waste and emissions

By Tamanna Wadhwani  August 15th, 2022

Initiatives like single-use packaging levies, incentives for sustainable alternatives, waste management enforcements and fossil fuel reduction will be introduced to drive the country towards a circular future.


The Irish Government passed the Circular Economy and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2022 recently in a landmark move, making it an integral part of the nation’s law. The Act lays the groundwork necessary for Ireland to steer away from its ‘take-make-dispose’ linear model and towards more sustainable means of production and consumption. 

Some significant changes being introduced under this Act include: 

  • Levies on all single-use packaging with the aim of progressively phasing out all single-use packaging from the supply chain 

  • Incentives for the use of sustainable alternatives such as reusable products and making sustainable options more accessible 

  • Mandates on the segregation of commercial waste  

  • Ending the issuing of new licenses for the extracting and mining of coal, oil, and gas. 

“Through a mix of economic incentives and smarter regulation we can achieve far more sustainable patterns of production and consumption that move us away from the patterns of single-use and throw-away materials and goods that are such a wasteful part of our economic model now,” says Eamon Ryan, the Minister of the Environment, Climate and Communications

As the nation prepares to phase out single-use packaging, one of the main targets will be to become the world’s first country to eliminate the use of disposable coffee cups — an industry that currently sends around 200 million cups to landfill every year. 

“We have to re-think the way we interact with the goods and materials we use every day if we are to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions because 45% of those emissions come from producing those goods and materials,” says Ryan. 

With the introduction of this Act, the country has placed the circular economy on a statutory footing, solidifying its importance in Irish domestic law.


Tamanna Wadhwani

Tamanna moved from India to Australia to pursue a degree in environmental science and conservation biology. After learning about the concept of a circular economy in 2020, she worked with various organisations in this sector and is interested in solving complex climate change and waste management problems. She loves to communicate with people about all things sustainability or animals. Outside of work, Tamanna is a budding hip hop dancer who also loves travelling, cat cuddles and reading.

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