64% of Irish people say they are more eco conscious now than before the pandemic and 89% are confident that their recycling habits are good.
That is according to research by Repak, who surveyed over 850 adults to examine the public’s attitudes towards eco-conscious behaviour after it was recently announced that all plastic packaging waste can now go into the recycling bin.
The environmental organisation noted Ireland is exceeding the EU plastic recycling targets of 22.5%.
However, achieving the ambitious targets for plastics recycling of 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030, under the Circular Economy and EU Legislation, will require a concentrated effort by all stakeholders.
The group said that putting all plastics in the recycling bin is a step towards making this target achievable.
Repak created its Team Green initiative in 2018 to support Ireland in achieving future packaging recycling targets set by the EU.
To date, over 22,000 individuals have joined Repak Team Green and, as a result of their collective efforts to recycle more and better, recycled plastic packaging tonnes increased by 9% between the start of 2019 and the end of 2020.
Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak, commented, “All plastic packaging waste now being accepted into recycling bins is a very positive change, as not only does it eliminate confusion amongst householders about what can be recycled, it’s also an opportunity to drive a significant increase in our recycling rates.
"To protect our environment, we need to continue working together to reduce the volume of waste generated and to recycle more. Since 2018, Repak has invested €10 million in funding for plastic recycling, and we are committed to facilitating Ireland’s journey to becoming an even more sustainable society.”
Plastic Can Make A Difference
All plastics now being accepted into the recycling bin marks a positive and significant step in Ireland’s journey to reaching its future recycling targets.
In addition to placing rigid (hard) plastics in the recycling bin, the Irish public can now place all soft plastic packaging waste, such as bread wrappers, plastic carrier bags and frozen food bags, in the recycling bin once they are clean, dry and loose.
According to the Repak research, 91% understand what clean, dry and loose means in terms of recycling best practice, which is very helpful in increasing the amount recycled and preventing contamination.
In addition, 83% are confident they know what items can or can’t go into the recycling bin.
Understanding what can and can’t be recycled is crucial in continuing to increase Ireland’s recycling rates. According to research, 89% are confident that their recycling habits are good, but 1 in 10 are still not confident.
New Repak Team Green Ambassador
Joining the Irish personalities leading the charge to increase Ireland’s future recycling rates today is TV chef, food writer and best-selling author, Donal Skehan.
Commenting on joining Repak Team Green, Donal Skehan said, "Since moving back to Ireland from LA, I’ve been making a conscious effort to educate myself on best practice recycling, as well as making sure I do all I can to help protect the environment," he said.
"As part of Repak Team Green, I have learned lots of helpful tips and hints on best practise recycling and am really proud to be part of this initiative to protect our environment.
"Throughout my career, I’ve seen the effectiveness of teamwork and what people can do when they come together to achieve a common goal, so I would ask everyone to join Repak Team Green and help protect the environment and make a difference.”
For more information on Repak Team Green, click here.