Launched at the COP26 climate summit in November, the consultation on Northern Ireland’s “first ever” strategy includes a mix of existing and new environmental targets and objectives.
This includes several targets pertaining to waste. The Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) says it will publish a new Waste Management Strategy by 2023, introduce an extended producer responsibility scheme for packaging in 2023 in line with the rest of the UK, and introduce a deposit return scheme for drink containers in 2024/25.
It targets bringing forward all the actions set out in its Waste Prevention Plan in 2019, introducing legislation to reduce the consumption of single use plastic items, and sending no more than 10% of waste to landfill by 2035.
The strategy also outlines the government’s aims to increase the recycling of packaging from 60% to 78% by 2030.
“It is of great importance that everyone with an interest in the environment strategy gets their views in before the deadline,” Mr Poots said.
“The environment strategy will underpin all our efforts against climate change and help ensure a bright future for the next generation.”
Mr Poots said DAERA intends to publish the final strategy by early spring 2022.
In the draft strategy, DAERA targets developing a circular economy in Northern Ireland. It says it will publish a ‘NI Circularity Gap Report’ in 2021 and a Circular Economy Strategic Framework by 2022.
DAERA says it will appoint members “representing a diverse range of industries, sectors and interest” to a NI Circular Economy Coalition and work with “enablers” in the digital, education, media, central and local government, and procurement sectors to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.
And, DAERA says there will be a NI Civil Service policy review to identify and embed circular practices in current and planned policy.
The draft strategy also contains targets relating to fly-tipping. DAERA says it will secure the agreement of all 11 Northern Irish councils to a ‘Fly-tipping Protocol’ demarcating the roles and responsibilities of each local authority.
Seven councils have already committed to the protocol, the strategy says. DAERA says it remains in discussion with the other four. The strategy says DAERA and the councils will review the protocol annually.
The strategy also sets targets for the development of a consistent approach to data collection regarding fly-tipping and illegal waste disposal across Northern Ireland, including through exploring a fly-tipping app.
Environment Strategy Consultation
Outlook Conference 2022
There’s just under two weeks left to secure your place at the unmissable Outlook Conference 2022, returning as an online conference on Thursday 27 January.
The online event will provide a platform to debate the challenges and opportunities presented for the upcoming year in the waste and recycling industry. With present and future outlooks for what the waste and recycling world needs to be considering for their annual road maps, the packed agenda is not one to be missed, and will be crucial to those looking to get ahead for 2022.
Those looking to book their tickets can do so via our website link.