Ireland moves up from fourth to second place in EU for packaging recycling

Ireland has climbed up the rankings in terms of recycling packaging in the EU from fourth place to second, according to figures released by Eurostat as Repak Recycling Week 2014 kicks off.

In 2013, Repak collected 712,054 tonnes of packaging, of which 39% was paper, 28% glass, 27% plastic and 5% metal.

Irish businesses have invested €300m through Repak to ensure that their packaging is recycled over the past 17 years and Repak has helped to grow packaging recovery from under 15% in 1998 to nearly 79% last year.

Repak also reveals that it recycles 3.72 kgs per household, per week, the equivalent of five cereal boxes, 10 pizza boxes, 2 wine bottles, 15 butter tubs, 40 yoghurt pots and 15 drinks cans per house per week.

As part of Repak Recycling Week 2014, Repak has commissioned a study with Amárach Research which reveals that seven out of 10 Irish people are green bin ‘sinners’, disposing of incorrect and dirty household materials in their recycling bin, including nappies, razors and cigarette butts.

“Being upgraded to the No 2 in Europe is a major milestone for Ireland’s package recycling story. This is due this success to the collective efforts of our members, recovery operators, Government, Local Authorities and consumers,” said Seamus Clancy, CEO Repak.

“We have all have strived to increase recycling rates and worked together to educate and encourage the public to recycle more. We still have more to do, and I firmly believe we can make it to the top spot. For this year, however, we have to tackle the issue of contaminated recycling as 98pc of the Irish public are recycling, but 72% are not recycling correctly.”