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Repak calls on the Irish public to drum up new recycling habits

As a nation, we’re often inclined to rate ourselves in different aspects of life but since the arrival of Covid-19, the public’s recycling habits have come into spotlight. We are drumming up some new habits with 64% of people saying they are more eco conscious now than before the pandemic and 89% confident that their recycling habits are good. That’s according to new research by leading environmental organisation, Repak.

The research of over 850 adults examined the public’s attitudes towards eco-conscious behaviour after it was recently announced that all plastic packaging waste can now go into the recycling bin. Currently in Ireland, we are exceeding the EU plastic recycling targets of 22.5%. However, to achieve the ambitious targets for plastics recycling of 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030 under the Circular Economy and EU Legislation, will require a concentrated effort by all stakeholders. Putting all plastics in the recycling bin is a step towards making this target achievable.

Repak created its Team Green initiative in 2018 to support Ireland in achieving future packaging recycling targets set by the EU. To date, over 22,000 individuals have joined Repak Team Green and as a result of their collective efforts to recycle more and better, recycled plastic packaging tonnes increased by 9% between the start of 2019 and the end of 2020.

By joining Repak Team Green, not only will you be pledging to recycle more and better, you can also get handy tips on how to do so. It takes just two minutes to join Repak Team Green here. 

Plastic can make the difference to Ireland’s recycling rates 

All plastics now being accepted into the recycling bin marks a positive and significant step in Ireland’s journey to reaching its future recycling targets. In addition to placing rigid (hard) plastics in the recycling bin, the Irish public can now place all soft plastic packaging waste, such as bread wrappers, plastic carrier bags and frozen food bags in the recycling bin once they are clean, dry and loose.  

According to the Repak research, 91% understand what clean, dry and loose means in terms of recycling best practice, which is very helpful in increasing the amount recycled and preventing contamination. In addition, 83% are confident they know what items can or can’t go into the recycling bin. Understanding what can and can’t be recycled is crucial in continuing to increase Ireland’s recycling rates.

CEO of Repak, Séamus Clancy commented:

“Since we launched Repak Team Green in 2018, over 22,000 individuals have joined the initiative to reduce, reuse and recycle more and better. Join us on Repak Team Green today and pledge to protect the environment at this critical juncture in Ireland’s journey to reducing and recycling better.

All plastic packaging waste now being accepted into recycling bins is a very positive change, as not only does it eliminate confusion amongst householders about what can be recycled, it’s also an opportunity to drive a significant increase in our recycling rates. To protect our environment, we need to continue working together to reduce the volume of waste generated and to recycle more. Since 2018, Repak has invested €10 million in funding for plastic recycling, and we are committed to facilitating Ireland’s journey to becoming an even more sustainable society.”

New Repak Team Green Ambassador

Joining the Irish personalities leading the charge to increase Ireland’s future recycling rates today is TV Chef, Food Writer and best-selling author, Donal Skehan.

Commenting on joining Repak Team Green, Donal Skehan said: ‘I’m delighted to join Repak Team Green as an Ambassador this year. Since moving back to Ireland from LA, I’ve been making a conscious effort to educate myself on best practice recycling, as well as making sure I do all I can to help protect the environment. As part of Repak Team Green, I have learned lots of helpful tips and hints on best practise recycling and am really proud to be part of this initiative to protect our environment. Throughout my career, I’ve seen the effectiveness of teamwork and what people can do when they come together to achieve a common goal, so I would ask everyone to join Repak Team Green and help protect the environment and  make a difference.”

For more information on Repak Team Green, click here.

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