Packaging And Design

Repak Reveals Earth Day Tips As Ireland Risks Missing Recycling Goals

By Sarah O'Sullivan
Repak Reveals Earth Day Tips As Ireland Risks Missing Recycling Goals

Repak has revealed research pointing to a critical gap in Ireland’s recycling knowledge to mark Earth Day 2024.

Only 34% of Irish residents confidently understand the recycling process, with 33% finding recycling straightforward.

As well as this, 41% reported the belief that minor recycling errors don’t impact the overall process.

The findings revealing a lack of understanding as to the impact of individual action on recycling.

Ireland is currently forecast to miss its 2025 European Union (EU) target of recycling 50% of all plastic packaging.

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Earth Day

Repak’s new campaign – Don’t Waste Earth Day – aims to encourage everyone from consumers to businesses to separate recycling correctly.

Good recycling starts with proper sorting, but only 52% of those surveyed said they always separate recycling at home.

Just 28% said they separate recycling when out and about, and 50% check if their items can be recycled before disposing of them.

11% check if recycling is possible when they purchase an item, and 27% said they check both at purchasing and disposal.

When asked how they would feel about Ireland missing its 2025 EU targets, 34% said they would feel disappointed and 17% said they would be frustrated.

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Despite 88% of people surveyed saying they felt confident in their recycling abilities, just 52% correctly answered what goes into the recycling bin.

Paper, cardboard, tins, cans and foil can all go in the recycling bin, clean dry and loose, and all plastic can go in the recycling bin.

Glass, bottles, batteries, food waste, coffee pods and soiled napkins cannot go into the recycling bin and can contaminate the whole bin if disposed of with the recycling.

As of 1 July, all businesses must also legally have three bins at their back door to help with the proper separation of packaging.

‘Play Our Part’

Speaking about the campaign, the chief executive of Repak Zoë Kavanagh said, “We’re at a critical point when it comes to our recycling habits.

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“The research shows three’s a gap in our recycling knowledge, and a misunderstanding of how the smallest mistakes can have big impacts when it comes to the recycling process.

“To meet Ireland’s EU targets, we all need to play our part.

“Let’s take the opportunity for Earth Day and take simple action to correctly separate and recycle packaging in the correct bins to support a greener Ireland.

“We’re calling on everyone to work together as a team this Earth Day to build on our recycling habits.

“If we all take some time to prepare and separate our packaging, it makes it easier to recycle when it reaches the recycling centres and helps contribute to a greener Ireland,” she said.

Repak’s Advice For Best Practice Recycling

  1. Make sure all materials go into each of the five bins at home: compost, general waste, recycling, glass and plastic.
  2. Make sure all materials are clean, dry and loose before placing them in the recycling bin.
  3. Don’t put clothes, shoes, batteries or food waste in your recycling bin.
  4. Don’t just look at what is in your kitchen – recycle items from around the home. These include cleaning and toiletry bottles, newspapers, magazines and cardboard boxes.
  5. Consider what packaging can be reimagined and used for other purposes.

Read More: Repak Announces Zoё Kavanagh As New Chief Executive

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