Repak Increases Packaging Recovery Rate While Reducing Operating Costs

Last year, Ireland, through Repak support, continued to exceed EU used packaging recovery and recycling targets by recovering and recycling 652,000 tonnes – an increase of 4.1% on 2010, which represents the equivalent carbon savings of taking over a quarter of a million cars off Irish roads in 2011. Of the 652,000 tonnes Repak funded, 89% was recycled and 11% was recovered.

Repak reported increases in packaging recovery/recycling for the following material types: Aluminium a 19.6% increase, a 14% increase in glass, a 20.9% increase in plastic, 7.2% increase in steel. However, there was a significant drop in wood recycling due to a sharp drop in commercial activity, particularly in the construction sector.

Repak reduced its overall costs in 2011 by Eur2.15 million to Eur26.1 million. Repak raised Eur25.2 million in income from 2,291 participating companies in the scheme; down 4% on 2010, and a high of Eur29.5 million in 2008. Despite the significant cost reductions implemented by Repak in 2011, Repak still had a net operating deficit of Eur891,000.

Whilst overall packaging recovery increased by 4%, household packaging funded by Repak (which is the most expensive type) increased to 208,000 tonnes – up 9.7% on 2010. Household packaging now accounts for 32% of all packaging.

Dr Andrew Hetherington, chief executive of Repak, comments: “2011 was a challenging year with a continued drop in our member income, as a result of Repak holding our fees static since 2008. By reducing our overall costs by some 7.6%, the average cost per tonne recovered by Repak came down from Eur45 to Eur40 per tonne recovered.”

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