SUP Ban in Ireland
Ireland aims to reduce the volume and impact of specific plastic products on the environment through Directive (EU) 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. This is commonly referred to as the Single Use Plastics Directive.
Single-use plastic products (SUPs) are used once, or for a short period of time, before being thrown away. The ten most commonly found single-use plastic items represent over two thirds of all marine litter in the EU.
Ireland will comply with the SUP Directive by ensuring the following items will be banned from being placed on the Irish market from 3 July 2021: cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, stirrers, chopsticks, straws, expanded polystyrene single use food and beverage containers, and all oxo-degradable plastic products. This legislation is part of the Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy, which was published in September 2020.
Beverage containers (bottles, cartons) up to 3 litres in size will be banned from the Irish market from 3 July 2024, unless the cap is attached to the main part of the container. Beverage producers will also be prohibited from placing any SUP polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle up to 3 litres in size on the Irish market from January 2025 unless it contains a minimum of 25% recycled plastic. From January 2030 these bottles must contain a minimum of 30% recycled plastic.
By 5 January 2023, producers of packaging will be required to cover the costs of litter clean up, in addition to their existing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) obligations associated with the following SUP items: food containers, packets, wrappers, beverage containers, cups, and light weight carrier bags.
By 5 January 2023, producers of tobacco products which contain plastic will be subject to an EPR scheme. By 31 December 2024, producers of balloons, wet wipes and fishing gear will also be subject to an EPR scheme. In order to maximise their recyclability, a Deposit and Return Scheme (DRS) will be introduced to achieve a separate collection rate of 90% for plastic bottles.