Waste Prevention is preferrable to any waste management option. We need to RETHINK more than Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
By not generating waste in the first place, through prevention, we can eliminate the need to handle, transport, treat and dispose of waste. We can also avoid having to pay for these services.
The Minister of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government launched the National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP) in April 2004. It is being led by the EPA. The Minister also set up the National Waste Prevention Committee (NWPC) comprising a broad stakeholder group to provide strategic direction for the EPA in implementing the National Waste Prevention Programme.
The aim of NWPP is to deliver substantive results on waste prevention and minimisation and integrate a range of initiatives addressing awareness-raising, technical and financial assistance, training and incentive mechanisms.
The programme will build on initiatives such as:-
Local Authority Prevention Demonstration Programme (LAPD)
- The LAPD aims to develop capacity in prevention in all local authorities to assist commercial and community initiatives.
Green Business Initiative
- The Green Business Initiative is aimed primarily at the business community in Ireland, with an emphasis on small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s). Its tools and systems will also be suitable for and marketed at public sector and not-for-profit organisations.
- It aims to provide tools and methodologies to help organisations to make financial savings by looking at their resource use, and also to help the environment.
- Greenbusiness.ie is a web based project that provides tools and support to encourage businesses to investigate their waste production, and their water and energy use, and identify potential savings by using less. The project is open to all businesses and organisations and is entirely confidential and operated independently of EPA by Enviros Consulting Ltd. Check out www.greenbusiness.ie for details.
- The Green Hospitality Award is a programme that has already generated in excess of €3 million in saving for 190 participating hotels, by providing an EMS based award scheme, support and training, benchmarking tools and audits. Over 80 hotels have gained awards. Details can be found at www.ghaward.ie.
Green Home Programme
- The Green Schools programme involves 66% of all Irish schools of which 1,150 have been awarded the coveted Green Flag. A pilot initiative called Green Home is now being funded by the National Waste Prevention Programme to build on this success and spread prevention to houses and communities.
- Prevention and managing hazardous waste is an important priority for all NWPP projects. A range of specific projects are underway in relation to implementation of the revised National Hazardous Waste Management Plan
Packaging Waste Prevention Programme
- The Packaging Waste Prevention Programme aims to assist Irish businesses with positive and practical ways to reduce packaging and to promote those achievements to a wider audience.