Following a meeting by the Irish waste Management Association (IWMA) to discuss the collapse in the market for recycled materials, the minister said Government would help find other markets for the products.

Globally, the price for recycled materials has fallen as much as 75%, the recycling industry heard.

Speaking after Friday’s meeting, IWMA chairman Jim Kells told the Irish Times: “To date the market has been very buoyant, and recycling rates have increased, but the recent fall in commodity prices will have an impact across the retail, commercial, industrial and household sectors.”

Recycled materials have followed other commodities in losing value, with Chinese importers reportedly willing to pay a quarter of what they used to.

Among the solutions discussed at the meeting was storing recyclables in the hope prices will recover, selling off the material at a loss or, controversially, selling them as a fuel for cement-kilns.

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