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Ireland's packaging recycling surges 9.1% in 2 years

In its third year of Team Green, Repak calls upon households to nominate ‘Team Green Leaders’

  • Team Green is an initiative powered by Repak that was created to support Ireland in achieving future packaging recycling targets set by the European Union
  • Since Repak founded its Team Green initiative in 2018 the volume of tonnes recycled has amounted to 1,314,160 which is enough to completely fill the Aviva Stadium over 20 times
  • Over 269,557 tonnes of glass, 638,129 tonnes of paper and 166,440 tonnes of plastic which includes and additional 97million plastic bottles have been recycled in Ireland since Repak’s Team Green was founded
  • Repak launches a national search to find Ireland’s newest Team Green leaders, calling on households to nominate individuals to join Anna Geary, Paul and Gary O’Donovan since, Paul Mc Grath, Roz Purcell and Bobby Kerr in leading the charge to increase packaging recycling in Ireland

In the last few months, the people of Ireland have demonstrated the power of working together to achieve a common goal more than ever. While the Irish public’s teamwork has been evident since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, what perhaps many may not realise is how effective the nation has been, coming together to protect Ireland’s environment and improving their recycling behaviours. Repak has seen that recycling rates are up and contamination in the recycling bins are down.

According to new data released by Repak, Ireland’s recycling tonnes have increased by 9.1 % in the last two years, coinciding with when the not for profit packaging recycling scheme first launched Team Green. The volume of tonnes recycled has amounted to 1,314,160 which is enough to completely cover the Aviva Stadium over 20 times.

Over 13,000 individuals have joined Repak’s Team Green to date. These individuals have played a significant role in driving an increase in Ireland’s packaging recycling, leading to the recycling of 57,000 tonnes (9.1%) of waste packaging in just two years.

The public have continually improved their recycling habits in the past two decades, making Ireland one of the most successful European countries for packaging recycling. Since 1997, the people of Ireland have diverted 13.3 million tonnes of recyclable materials from landfill. This has led to the reduction of the country’s landfill facilities from 126 in 1997 to just 3 in 2020.

To reach Ireland’s future packaging recycling targets under the EU’s Circular Economy Package, the public will need to continue their improved recycling behaviours. With many people now spending more time in their household, becoming better recyclers at home is crucial in ensuring Ireland continues to be a packaging recycling leader in Europe.

Leading by a Team Green example

Everyone has a role model of some kind, including people we look to for guidance on how to behave. Within many homes in Ireland, there is someone who takes charge of recycling at home and teaches others about how they can implement best practice recycling behaviour. Repak has launched a search to find who these recycling role models are.

From today, households across Ireland are being called upon to nominate themselves or individual’s they know  to become one of Repak’s Team Green leaders, by joining Repak’s Team Green, sharing an Instagram/Facebook post of the leader with the caption clean, dry and loose and tagging @repakrecycling as well as five other environmental champions on Instagram/Facebook. In doing so, not only will they join fellow Repak Team Green leaders Anna Geary, Paul and Gary O’Donovan, Paul McGrath, Roz Purcell and Bobby Kerr in leading the charge to drive an increase in Ireland’s packaging recycling rates, but they will also be in with a chance to win a €250 voucher for a Repak Member of their choice.

For more information on how you can nominate a Repak Team Green leader, visit Repak Facebook page Repak Recycling or @repakrecycling on Twitter or Instagram.

Commenting on the importance of taking individual responsibility for supporting the protection of the environment, CEO of Repak, Séamus Clancy said:

‘Being part of a team has taken on new meaning since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The people of Ireland have shown how we can all make a big difference by coming together. What might be surprising to some, is that we’ve been making just as big a difference to the environment for some time now, by improving our packaging recycling habits in the last few years.

Since we introduced our Team Green initiative two years ago, nearly 13,000 individuals have pledged to recycle correctly. They’ve taken time to learn what materials should be disposed of in a recycling bin and that all recyclables should be placed into a recycling bin clean, dry and loose. Recycling tonnes have increased by 9.1% in the last two years, which symbolises a critical step in our journey to reaching our future packaging recycling targets. To those 13,000 people who have joined Repak’s Team Green, I thank you for making a commitment to protect our planet.

Social restrictions regrettably will remain part of our lives for the foreseeable future and we will continue to spend more time at home. The environment has benefited from the reported transport reduction in the volume of CO2 emissions, but we must not forget the importance of reduction and recycling more and correctly of all resources at home also. If you are not nominated as the Team Green leader of your home and have not yet signed up to Repak’s Team Green, it takes just a few minutes to join so we can keep you in the loop with our recycling tips. Change starts with each of us individually, so I urge you to play your part to look after the world around us’.

By joining Repak’s Team Green initiative, becoming familiar with what items can and cannot go into the recycling bin and placing all recyclable items into a recycling bin clean, dry and loose, the public will be demonstrating best practice recycling and helping to protect our environment. To join Repak’s Team Green, visit #RepakTeamGreen

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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