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Implications of the new CEP & SUP Directives for Ireland and businesses

The launch of the Circular Economy Package (CEP) in 2015 is undoubtedly the most significant environmental legislative programme at EU level in the last decade. The full impact of the CEP on businesses in Ireland will be significant and its impact will be felt over the next decade.

The aim of the CEP is to transform the linear economy of “take, make, dispose”, which has remained the dominant model since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, into a circular economy,  which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable economic growth and generate new jobs.

Global resource use in 2030 is forecast to be twice that of 2010, as the global population rises from 7.2 billion now to a projected 11 billion by 2100. The CEP is about reducing the overconsumption of natural resources and using them in a more sustainable way.  It is a radical approach and focuses on changing current production processes and consumption trends, which will over time significantly benefit the economy, the environment and society in general.

Improved waste management, reuse and recycling are central elements of the CEP. For Repak members the Waste Framework Directive and the Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive are key Directives and introduce a range of additional measures for businesses in relation to increased recycling targets, extended producer responsibility, producer roles and responsibilities, fee modulation etc.

The SUP Directive is a new Directive which was published in June 2019. The Directive aims to deal with the top ten single use plastics items that cause 70% of marine litter. The Directive includes: a ban on certain single use plastic products; obligations to reduce the use of certain plastics; obligations for producers to cover the costs of waste management and litter clean up; and new targets for the separate collection of beverage bottles of 70% in 2025 and 90% in 2030.

Repak will continue to provide guidance on an ongoing basis to its members as to their new compliance obligations under the CEP and the relevant Directives.

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