Recycling up 650% over 15 years

Mon, Oct 1, 2012, 01:00

There has been a 650 per cent increase in package recycling since 1998, according to a new Repak survey.

This is an increase from 101,000 tonnes of packaging recycled in 1998 to 651,000 tonnes in 2011.

There has also been a 7 per cent increase in both home and work recycling in the last year.

The figures show  65 per cent pf homes recycled in 2012, up from 58 per cent the previous year, while work-based recycling jumped from 56 per cent to 63 per cent.

Despite the increase, there is still more to be done to increase recycling efforts in Ireland, according to Darrell Crowe, head of marketing and sales for Repak.

“We are all doing a reasonable level of recycling at home and at work, but we need to get to the stage where we are recycling all the time,” he said. “It has been a phenomenal success and we compare favourably to the rest of Europe. We have gone from the bottom to near the top.

“There are three main reasons that explain why there is such an increase in recycling. People are better educated, there is better infrastructure and there are greater financial incentives.” 

The study conducted by MRBI, which surveyed 1,000 people, shows 70 per cent of respondents are against a visible fee on packaging to support their recycling.

Some 70 per cent of people think that producers and retailers should pay towards the recovery and recycling of packaging they supply.

Ireland has completely transformed how it recycles packaging in the last 15 years, according to Repak chief executive Dr Andrew Hetherington.

“The progress Ireland has made through collaboration of all stakeholders, our participating members and the buy in from the consumer, makes it the one of the most successful Producer Responsibility schemes in Ireland and an exemplar within the EU,” he said.

The survey was conducted to launch Repak Recycling Week, which began today.

For more information on Repak Recycling Week, visit repak.ie.