Ireland is expected to generate 95,000 tonnes of packaging waste this Christmas.
According to new research by environmental organisation, Repak, three quarters (75%) of shoppers are planning to be more eco-conscious over the festive period.
The November 2021 survey of 1,397 people in Ireland examines how we will spend this Christmas and our attitudes towards recycling and shopping over the festive season.
The research reveals that although 20% of people are kicking off the festive celebrations early this year, 81% plan to stay at home with family and at least one in ten (13%) have made a conscious decision not to socialise with friends in advance of Christmas Day.
Gift giving remains popular, as 25% of the respondents say they will buy between 10 and 15 gifts this Christmas and 49% will spend €300 or less, a 16% increase compared to 2020.
"This Christmas, we are asking the Irish public to be more mindful of protecting the environment and dispose of their packaging waste in a responsible manner," said Séamus Clancy, CEO, Repak.
Repak is encouraging everyone to join the Repak Team Green initiative and commit to learning how to reduce, reuse and recycle more and better.
Since September, all plastics can go into the recycling bin, so common items such as bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, bread wrappers, and chocolate and biscuit trays can all be placed in the recycling bin this Christmas.
To join Repak Team Green and make a difference, click here.
Repak noted that most retailers are open in the lead up to Christmas, but the effects of the pandemic lockdowns have impacted how people have chosen to shop for presents again this year.
The research revealed that over half (54%) say they will do most of their Christmas shopping online, with 69% of the respondents citing the ability to avoid busy, crowded stores as the reason for doing so.
The packaging waste generated from online sales will create a heavy influx of materials for waste operators to process during Christmas, but for online shoppers, over half (57%) of those polled don’t know if the retailers they purchase from have any sustainability programmes in place.
Repack said that while some online retailers leave their packaging waste in the Irish market without contributing to the cost of recycling, over 3,500 Repak members meet their obligations to recycle the packaging they place on the Irish market and also help fund household recycling bins, bottle banks and civic amenities.
65% of people will shop local this Christmas, and by shopping with a Repak member, consumers can feel assured that they are purchasing from retailers who are helping to protect the environment, in addition to supporting local businesses.
To find out more about Repak members, visit here.
2021 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. For more packaging news click here. Click sign up to subscribe to Checkout.