"We have made giant strides in improving our national
performance in the recovery and recycling of waste and packaging
waste has played a central role in these developments - thanks
in no small part to the efforts of Repak and all its producer
members" - said Mr. Michael Kitt, TD, Minister of State
at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
The Minister was addressing the Repak Members' Conference
in the Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel on Thursday 19th June.
Minister Kitt acknowledged that - "as target recovery
rates increase, heading towards 2011, the costs to industry
of discharging its responsibilities under the Packaging Directive
One of more significant revisions introduced under the new
Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations 2007 - which came
into effect on 31 March this year - relates to the reduction
in the weight-based de minimis threshold (one of two
criteria used to determine major producer status -
the other being a turnover threshold of €1m), from 25
tonnes down to 10 tonnes.
"On this reduction" - the Minister added - "this
will have the effect of more equitably spreading the burden
of compliance with EU targets across a larger number of producers."
The Minister urged all stakeholders to continue to work together
to meet the higher recovery targets that apply, under the
new regulations, from teh end of 2008.
"Our focus needs to remain on the achievement of our
international targets, while simultaneously reducing packaging
waste generation. I remain confident that, by continuing to
work together, we can achieve these common objectives and
be to the fore in packaging waste prevention and recovery
across the EU."
Minister Kitt added that he saw the effective enforcement
of the new Regulations as being a key priority. "We cannot
allow those who free-ride on the system to enjoy a competitive
advantage over those producers who comply with their legal
obligations. I want to see the local authorities and the Office
of Environmental Enforcement intensify the enforcement efforts
to ensure the success of the consolidated regulations. That
will require the co-operation and active support of all the
stakeholders in the sector" - the Minister concluded.