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Enhanced Legislation for Commercial Business Waste

What are the enhanced commercial regulations? 

We want to provide you with information on the new system of incentivised waste charging and implementation of other measures for waste collection to promote sustainability within the commercial sector. The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, introduced incentivised charging for waste collection in the commercial sector. Since 1st July 2023, there are legal obligations on Irish businesses when it comes to the segregation of packaging waste. Regulation 5 of the European Union (Packaging) Regulations 2014 as amended states that:

  • Producers should ensure that packaging waste is separated at source, by material type
  • Packaging waste should be collected by a contractor for the purposes of recycling

This change will bring the commercial sector in line with the residential sector for whom incentivised pricing has been in place since 2017. Under the updated regulations: S.I. No. 104 of 2023, all waste collection companies will be required to provide a residual, mixed dry recyclable and bio-waste bin to all their commercial customers. It is important therefore that your business is segregating all recyclable packaging. Plastic packaging materials such as plastic pallet wrap, shrink hoods, case wrap and pallet sheets should be separated from other types of waste. If in doubt about what your waste contractor will accept in the recycling bin or in bales, ask them for their assistance. It is also essential that these recyclable materials are kept as clean and dry as possible so that they are suitable for recycling at the point of collection.

What you should expect from your waste contractor 

Waste contractors have a significant role to play in helping you to maximise recycling at your premises. It is therefore critical to ensure that they are providing the following offering:   

1. At least a three bin service for recycling (General Waste, Organic Waste and Mixed Dry Recycling). 
2. Support in order to source segregate by material where possible such as through baling of plastic film, bottles and the separation of other recyclable items such as drums or barrels. These items are usually manufactured from highly recyclable plastics such as Polyethylene (LDPE or HDPE), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) or Polypropylene (PP).
3. A breakdown of what the waste contractor is doing with your waste, showing:

  • what materials are being recycled;
  • what materials are being recovered or disposed;
  • food waste collected; and
  • the associated cost of all of the above

These measures can help you track trends over the year to see how well you’re managing and any further improvements that might be needed. The more material that is being recycled, the lower the cost. In fact, it is important to note that source segregated material that has been baled is often collected free of charge.  

What to do if there are any shortfalls in the current arrangements 

If you are having challenges achieving good segregation on site due to the bins or balers you currently have, it is important to engage with your waste contractor who can advise on how you improve this and implement the changes within an agreed timeframe. It is also important to note that improvements in recycling rates will not only help the environment but can reduce costs for your business. Evaluate and review your waste services on a regular basis. 

A list of waste contractors (Repak-approved recovery operators) is available here. If you need any additional support, you can also contact our packaging services team here at Repak at or call us on 01 467 0190.