Author: Louise Connolly, senior scientist, RPS and materials manager, rx3
‘Rethink, recycle, remake’ – or ‘rx3’ – is a Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government initiative (2008-2013) working to create end markets for recyclable materials in Ireland. The Government policy statement Delivering Change, published in 2002, identified one of the main barriers to an improved and sustainable recycling performance as the lack of stable and economically attractive markets and outlets for recyclable materials in Ireland.
This policy was a key driver for the rx3 programme, which ran for five years. In order to improve the quality of recyclables for use in end markets and to support the circular economy, one of the final outputs produced by rx3 is a guidance document on the best practice management of recyclable plastics.
The European Commission has recently published a number of plans and proposals to support the objective of Europe becoming a circular economy, which builds on the framework set out in the 2020 strategy Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe. Among the proposals in Towards a Circular Economy: A Zero Waste Programme for Europe are: