Repak celebrates 15 years of packaging recycling success

Repak Recycling Week kicked off on Monday focusing on our collective packaging recycling in Ireland

Repak Recycling Week kicked off on Monday focusing on our collective packaging recycling in Ireland

Repak celebrates 15 years of recycling success in Ireland with consumers recycling more than ever. In total since 1998 Repak has helped increase packaging recycling up from under 15% in 1998 to over 66% in 2011, with over 6.3 million tonnes of used packaging diverted from landfill.

According to recent research by Repak for the launch of Repak Recycling Week last Monday conducted by MRBI amongst a representative sample of 1,000 adults find a dramatic improvement in their recycling habits both in the home and a marked improvement in the office, but still shows areas for improvement.

Recycling at home and the office on the up

The average claimed household recycling rate increases from 58% in 2011 to 65% in 2012.

Also the number of people claiming to recycle regularly from around their homes and their offices has increased. The survey showed that 57% of people recycled regularly from the bathroom in 2012 (versus 43% in 2010). 44% recycled more in their bedroom (an increase from 30% in 2010). When it came to the Living room 45% of respondents recycled from their living room, an increase from 38% in 2010.

In fact, the research also showed that the average claimed recycling rate in work increase from 56% in 2011 to 63% in 2012, but recycling from the office desk at 35% and workplace kitchen at 44% lags behind recycling in the home. This shows there is a lot more we can all do in helping to increase our workplace recycling. To assist in this Repak have supported the launch of Every Can Counts in Ireland in conjunction with Alupro Ireland. This program aims to increase drinks can recycling in the workplace, colleges and “on the go”. To find out more or register for Every Can Counts log onto

650% increase in Packaging Recycling since 1998

This increase highlights the nationwide success of packaging recycling over the last 15 years. In fact, packaging recycling rates for 2011 at 651,000 tonnes – represents a 650% increase since 1998, when Ireland was recycling only 101,000 tonnes per annum. This is Ireland is now ranked 7th in Europe for Packaging recycling.

Repak attributes this success to the collective efforts of government, Local Authorities, consumers and businesses and waste contractors

Better collection infrastructure e.g. now 95% of homes have kerbside collections, up from 50,000 in 1998, a threefold increase in the number of recycling centres and a doubling of bring facilities

Better awareness of recycling and environment – campaigns by Repak like Repak Recycling week, Race against Waste etc. have contributed to greater awareness and real behavioural change in recycling habits.

Improved policy supports for recycling

The establishment of Producer Responsibility Initiatives such as Repak, WEEE Ireland, Irish Farm Films etc. paying to support recycling of their end of life wastes

Polluter pays principle – with introduction of Pay by Weight/Pay by use bin charges, encouraging /incentivising better and more recycling

Higher Landfill levies – support alternatives to landfilling, making recycling more costs effective

Improved recycling/recovery options,