In 2022, Plastic Pledge Signatories eliminated 28,500 tonnes of avoidable plastic waste from the estimated 322,000 tonnes of total plastic packaging placed on the Irish market, research shows.
Repak’s fifth annual Plastic Pledge Report also showcases alterations made by signatories to their packaging, either by reducing or substituting plastic materials.
Often, these changes are not recognised or noticed by the public but have collectively contributed to the removal or replacement of a remarkable 28,500 tonnes of plastic since 2018, the group noted.
The report highlighted that in 2022, Plastic Pledge Signatories achieved an average of 52% recycled content in their packaging, with select products attaining an impressive 100% recycled plastic content.
Speaking at the recent launch of the 2022 Repak Plastic Pledge Report, Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform and at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, Ossian Smyth TD, said, "I am encouraged by the progress made thus far and look forward to further collaborations with Repak and its Plastic Pledge Signatories as we strive to meet EU circular economy targets.”
'Exponential Members Growth'
Séamus Clancy, CEO, Repak, said that the exponential growth in the number of businesses joining the Repak Members’ Plastic Pledge, now totalling 146, attests to the momentum in addressing avoidable plastic packaging waste, enhancing recyclability, and incorporating recycled content.
"Each signatory continues to play a pivotal role in ensuring that Ireland strives to meet stringent EU Circular Economy targets," he added.
"Despite the achievements made by Repak Members and Plastic Pledge Signatories, it is imperative to acknowledge that attaining the 2025 plastic packaging recycling targets remains a formidable challenge.
"Forecasts indicate that Ireland will miss its national plastic target.
"If all organisations in Ireland focused on the five objectives set out in the Plastic Pledge and followed in the footsteps of Plastic Pledge Signatories, our Change Makers, Ireland would make significant progress to meet these targets."
Repak's Change Makers: 'The Change You Can's See'
In this year's report, Repak not only celebrates the achievements of its Plastic Pledge Signatories but also spotlights five key ‘Change Makers’ leading the way in reducing and removing plastic packaging from their supply chains and setting the standard.
These success stories include:
Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland continued to eliminate plastic shrink wrap from multi-packs, eliminating 500 tonnes of plastic.
Aldi swapped its peanut butter jars from plastic to glass, saving 13 tonnes of plastic per annum and contributing to an 18% plastic reduction of own label products.
Lidl optimised its Greek and flavoured 1kg yoghurt buckets, saving 30 tonnes of plastic.
Nomad Foods down-gauged the film across all pizza products, eliminating 93 tonnes of plastic packaging.
Tesco removed the handles on packs of Fred & Flo nappies, removing 36 tonnes of plastic.