BINDING targets to reduce the amount of waste being disposed of in landfill sites will be missed by 800,000 tonnes a year because of our consumer society.
Although we have reached EU recycling targets ahead of schedule, we are not making inroads in reducing the amount of waste generated every year, the EPA report says.
And waste generation will continue to rise, with the amounts of rubbish being produced at "unsustainably high levels", because of economic growth.
Only by reducing demand, or using fewer, less harmful materials, can the problem be overcome.
A growing population and increasing consumption of goods and services led to almost 31 million tonnes of waste being produced in 2006.
The EPA warns that issues surrounding the ownership of waste, and where it is sent for disposal, need to be "resolved without delay".