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Irish Government announces plans to tackle fast fashion waste

Tom Shearsmith
06 January 2020

Ireland has announced the key areas for the Government’s radical new waste strategy, which includes fast fashion and plastic usage.

Over 200kg of waste packaging (59kg of which is plastic) is generated per person every year in Ireland, above average among EU neighbours, Ireland’s Department for Communications, Climate Action and Environment says.

The report continues on to detail that more than half of fast fashion is disposed of in less than a year. The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton has announced this will be among the areas of focus for the country’s strategy.

In a consultation, the Department is now seeking views on measures to tackle fast fashion, better labelling for recyclable goods (including clothing), ending the use of non-recyclable plastic and working with other EU member states to design the structure of an EU wide plastic packaging tax to encourage the further prevention of plastic packaging.

As part of the country’s Climate Action Plan, Minister Bruton says "Ireland must radically change its wasteful use of precious resources."

“We need to act now and we have identified 75 measures which can be quickly implemented,” he added.

The Group chaired by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and comprised of representatives from environmental NGOs, the Industry, and the regulatory sector will meet for the first time in January.

Consultations on a range of measures open today and the Department of Communications is seeking views until Friday 21 February 2020.

Last year the UK government rejected calls from the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) to force fashion to clean up its act. The cross-party EAC had proposed a number of measures to help reduce fashion waste, including a 1p "garment levy".

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