Repak Members Surpass 2030 EU Targets – 2023 Repak Annual Report

By Sarah O'Sullivan
Repak Members Surpass 2030 EU Targets – 2023 Repak Annual Report

Repak today announced that its 3,504 members surpassed all future EU recycling targets, making significant progress in their efforts to improve packaging and recycling in Ireland.

In 2023, Repak members funded the recycling of over 100% of the packaging that they placed on the market, achieving an overall recycling rate of 102%.

This includes 69% for plastic packaging and 122% for paper – well above the EU targets set for 2025 and 2030.

Pathways to Better

The news of surpassing targets came from Repak’s 2023 report, Pathways to Better, launched this morning.

In 2023, eco-modulated fees were applied by Repak to all packaging material types, making Ireland one of the first EU countries to comply with the requirements of the Waste Framework Directive.


In addition to this, the data-monitoring and reporting requirements of the Single-Use Plastic (SUP) legislation commenced in 2023.

Repak provided members with communication and training for this new reporting requirement, with ongoing efforts to enhance support and engagement through 2024.

‘Advancing Ireland’s Circular Economy’

Speaking about the strong performance of Repak members in 2023, its chief executive, Zoë Kavanagh, said, “Repak members’ outstanding performance in surpassing EU recycling targets is a testament to their dedication and commitment to environmental sustainability.

“By proactively adopting eco-modulated fees, complying with new regulatory frameworks and improving waste segregation practices, they have set a high standard for environmental responsibility.

“Through investments in better recycling practices and extensive training programmes, our members have significantly contributed to ongoing efforts to meeting EU recycling targets and advancing Ireland’s circular economy.


“We extend our gratitude to the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications [DECC], Environmental Protection Agency, local authorities, regional planning offices, and the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities for their invaluable support.”


Despite the overall positive performance of Repak members, 2023 presented several challenges for Ireland’s national recycling efforts.

In 2023, Repak recovered and recycled a total of 1,114,763 tonnes of materials, with 746,000 tonnes recycled and 369,000 tonnes recovered through waste-to-energy (WtE) processes.

This represents a 279-tonne reduction, compared to 2022.

While overall recovery increased by 13,203 tonnes (+3.7%), compared to 2022, recycling saw a decrease of 13,483 tonnes (-1.8%).


Specific-material recycling experienced reductions, with paper decreasing by 53 tonnes, plastic by 4,220 tonnes, and glass by 10,052 tonnes.

However, household recycling remained stable, with a slight decrease of just 591 tonnes (-0.2%) in 2023, compared to the previous year.

Repak reaffirmed this morning that it is likely that the recycling of plastic packaging in Ireland will not meet the EU target of 50% by 2025, despite Repak members achieving a rate of 69% in 2023.

‘Continued Collaboration And Innovation’

The decline in commodity sales values negatively impacted recycling performance in Ireland last year.

Across individual materials, significant glass generation resulted in lower recycling levels.


Challenges also persisted in commercial plastic recycling, despite the introduction of enhanced subsidy support.

Kavanagh said, “The challenges faced in 2023 underline the importance of continued collaboration and innovation in waste management practices.

“The decrease in specific-material recycling highlights the need for all stakeholders to intensify their efforts in proper waste segregation, to approach the ambitious recycling targets for 2025 and 2030.

“By working closely with our members, local authorities, and other stakeholders, we aim to create a more robust and effective recycling infrastructure that will help us meet our future targets and continue to lead in environmental sustainability.”

Read More: Repak’s Plastic Pledge Signatories Achieve 72% Recycling Rate

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