Repak has launched its 15th Repak Recycle Week today (October 19th), calling on Irish consumers to make ‘plastic fantastic’ by recycling their plastic packaging.
Each year, 169,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste is generated in Ireland, which breaks down to 37kg per person, the equivalent of 80 rugby balls or 215 iPhone 6 plus devices.
The number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills every year would stretch around the island of Ireland 2,000 times, and could take up 1,000 years to biodegrade.
According to research conducted by Repak, more than half of Irish people (55%) consider themselves generally very green, while 80% rate themselves as excellent recyclers with 93% feeling guilty if they don’t.
However, one in three say they don’t recycle everything that they could, with 36% citing a lack of knowledge on what is recyclable. More than one in five also admitted that they are not as stringent about recycling at work as they are at home.
At home, 73% are willing to confront a family member who has thrown a recyclable item into the general waste bin, with 15% willing to fish the offending item out to put in the correct one. 66% of those surveyed agree that those who put non-recyclable materials into their green bins should be penalised.
When asked what else they do to ‘play their part’ to reduce waste, a significant 70% said they avoid buying products that they consider over-packaged, while 9 out of 10 said they support brands that behave environmentally responsibly.
Most (72%) also said that manufacturers and retailers should pay towards the recovery and recycling of the packaging products they supply.
For every tonne of plastic recycled, we save the equivalent of 1.5 tonnes of CO2 released into the atmosphere, and with this in mind, Repak is encouraged consumers to recycle all their plastics, which can then be turned into everything from garden furniture, to fleece jackets and even smartphones
CEO of Repak, Seamus Clancy commented, “We want to get Irish people to up the ante with plastic recycling; a lot of plastic packaging waste is generated outside the kitchen and we want to remind people to ensure they’re recycling all recyclable materials rather than simply a high percentage.”
Repak is also set to host the first Pakman Awards, a new initiative to recognise excellence in waste management and recycling amongst businesses, communities and individuals in Ireland, on October 22nd in the Shelbourne hotel.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.