Waste & Water


The Green Party wants Ireland to lead the way in waste reduction and water conservation.

The Green Party wants to make doing the right thing with waste easy for everyone. Currently, Ireland is below the EU average when it comes to recycling, and landfills more than most other EU countries. We want to reverse this, and make our waste industry an innovative and forward looking sector.  We believe in safeguarding Ireland’s water supply for all citizens and in promoting water conservation and water quality.

Dumping landfill

  • Reduce landfill to zero by 2030.
  • Continue to increase the landfill levy.

Ireland still sends vast amounts of rubbish to landfill every year, a method of waste disposal which is increasingly considered a last resort throughout the developed world. In addition to burying our waste problem for future generations to deal with, landfill ties up valuable land that could be better used for public amenities. We want to provide investment for students to develop the expertise needed to allow our waste recovery industry to thrive.

Reducing waste

  • Introduce a ban on single-use plastics and non-recyclable cups.
  • Provide public water dispensing stations throughout our cities.

Ireland operates a linear economy where almost all products undergo the process of “make, use and destroy.” We want to move from this linear economy to a circular one by developing a much stronger recovery industry with associated manufacturing. We should emphasise repairability rather than disposability for electronics and other goods by supporting initiatives like Repair Café. We should eliminate the wastage of food by preventing edible food from being dumped by retailers.

A revolution in recycling

  • Generate 4,500 jobs in an expanded recycling industry.
  • Implement a 75% recycling target by 2030.

We believe in making recycling as easy and accessible as possible for everyone. Simple policies, like making recycling bins a normal part of street bins in our cities would go a long way to achieving this. We should create local industries that generate the recycled materials that we currently import at great expense. Ireland currently sends 38,000 tonnes of metal worth over €30 million to landfill every year, just one example of the valuable resources we could repurpose as part of a waste recovery industry. Our philosophy should be one of rewarding consumers for the time and effort they put into separating their waste in a responsible way.

Protecting Ireland’s water

  • Enshrine public ownership of water in Bunreacht na hÉireann.
  • Encourage water conservation through appropriate billing structures, building regulations and education.

The Green Party wants to ensure that Ireland’s water is safeguarded for all of us. We want to improve water quality and eliminate boil water notices by upgrading treatment plants, and by implementing a national lead removal strategy. We believe that water conservation and water security are closely interlinked, and will introduce measures to reduce water wastage.