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Ireland sets record for highest ever recycling rates in 2017

You can view our Annual Report 2017 here

  • Repak funded the recovery and recycling of 817,888 tonnes of packaging in 2017, an increase of 23,040 tonnes from 2016 and the highest volume of recycling ever recorded in Ireland
  • Ireland’s recycling rates up 4% from 2016. In total, 620,380 tonnes of packaging were recycled in 2017, up 26,389 tonnes on 2016
  • Ireland has now surpassed every recycling target set by the EU for the past twenty years
  • Repak’s Prevent & Save Programme is estimated to have saved approximately 1 million tonnes of packaging production from being placed on the market by Repak members since 2006
  • Repak recorded a net increase of 197 members for 2017, the largest annual increase in new membership since 2005

June 28th, 2018: Repak, Ireland’s only government-approved recycling compliance scheme, has today released its annual report, announcing that Ireland has surpassed all recycling and recovery targets in 2017 for the twentieth year in a row.

In total, Repak funded the recovery and recycling of 817,888 tonnes of packaging waste in 2017, an increase of 23,040 tonnes from 2016 and the highest volume of recycling ever recorded in Ireland.

In 2017, Ireland’s recycling levels increased by 4%. In total, 620,380 tonnes were recycled in 2017, up 26,389 tonnes on 2016.  Materials sent for recovery reduced by 3,349 to 197,508, demonstrating the impact of positive recycling behaviour. Household recycling increased by 11,999 tonnes (4.6%) to 268,118 and commercial recycling increased by 14,390 (4.3%) to 352,000.

Repak’s annual report also confirmed that in 2017, the not for profit scheme delivered a 69% recycling rate and 94% recovery rate with all materials once again surpassing EU targets.

Commenting on another strong year for Irish recycling, Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak said: “I am pleased to report that 2017 was another good year for recycling and recovery in Ireland. A 4% increase in recycling rates across all materials and market segments is a significant  achievement that our members and the public should be very proud of. This marked increase in recycling rates for the commercial sector and households nationwide, is a testament to the hard work and commitment to the environment by both our members and the public.”

“The results today show that Repak’s investment in consumer education to reduce levels of contamination are paying dividends. Repak wishes to extend its thanks to the Irish public, who have played a massive role in improving the country’s recovery and recycling rates. I am also pleased to announce that recycling levels across all material categories, plastic ,glass,paper,metals and wood  are ahead of European Union targets. This demonstrates that as a nation, we are not only increasing our recycling rates, but in a sustainable way across all materials.”

At this morning’s AGM, Repak also announced its plans to launch a national plastic strategy in Q3 of 2018.

Speaking about this significant announcement, Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak said: “Repak is initiating the development of a national Plastic Recycling Strategy to help Ireland reach its targets and achieve the new recycling targets set by the European Commission for 2025 & 2030. This strategy will set out recommended measures for itself, its members and for all stakeholders. Repak intends that the recommendations of the Plastic Packaging Recycling Strategy will inform the national debate and, where appropriate, be part of the Irish Government’s response to Circular Economy Packaging targets.”

Repak Prevent & Save Programme

Through the Repak Prevent & Save programme, Repak works with its members to help them reduce packaging at source. Through site surveys, the packaging technologist team help to identify opportunities to optimise packaging, reduce costs and prevent packaging waste.

In 2017 Repak worked with over 40 members including Lidl, Aldi, Tesco, and Musgraves to help identify areas in which they could reduce packaging at source. A report commissioned by Repak in 2017 shows savings of 857,000 tonnes of packaging since 2006.

Commenting on significant next steps for Repak in 2018, Séamus Clancy said: "Plastic is without question the biggest environmental issues of our time and how we respond to it today will dictate our planet’s health in the future. Today, we recycle 34% of all plastics, ahead of our target 22.5%. The new plastic recycling targets of  50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030 are ambitious and Repak is working with all stakeholders including policy makers, producers, recovery operators and consumers to help Ireland achieve these targets in the future with the development of this Plastic Recycling Strategy."

Team Green for Schools

Team Green is 3,400 Repak Members working together for a greener Ireland. Ireland has hit every plastic recycling target since 1997. Help us reach 50% of all plastic recycled by 2025.

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