IRELAND is likely to send more waste to landfills and for incineration despite there being a raft of environmental policies in place.
Many EU targets for reducing carbon emissions will be missed, the ESRI warned, saying new policies were needed to bridge the "substantial gap" between the "ambitions of policy makers and reality".
While sulphur dioxide emissions -- linked to acid rain and ammonia -- have reduced, we are unlikely to meet EU targets for carbon dioxide emissions, which will be 30pc higher than the target for 2020.
And with 80pc of household waste going to landfills, unless recycling rates improve and planned incinerators are utilised to their full capacity, EU targets will be missed. Even then, more incineration capacity is needed to reduce dependency on landfills.
"For waste, there is a discrepancy between the stated ambitions of government and the policies in place," the ESRI said, adding that meeting targets on greenhouse gas emissions will prove "extremely difficult" to achieve.
"The amount of waste arising will continue to increase as the population grows and gets richer. Although the share of waste that is recycled will be higher in future, there is an upward trend in the amount of waste to be incinerated and disposed of in landfills."