This Repak Recycle Week, commencing September 2017, we are celebrating 20 years of packaging recycling success in Ireland.
Repak was established in 1997 in accordance with EU legislation that was created to ensure certain businesses – known as Repak members – were responsible for the packaging they placed on the Irish market and therefore were obligated to part fund the recycling and recovery of this packaging.
Any producer of packaging who places more than 10 tonnes of packaging onto the Irish market, and has a turnover of €1 million per year, is obligated to become a Repak member.
Repak’s fees are based on a pay-as-you-produce basis i.e. the more packaging placed on the market by a producer, the higher their fee. The fees paid to us by our members are used to fund the collection and recovery of waste packaging through registered recovery operators (the people who come and collect your rubbish for sorting and separation) across Ireland, so that the individual member companies are exempt from doing it themselves.
Since Repak was set up in 1997 packaging recycling in Ireland has grown from a very low base, under 15% to over 76% in 2016. Ireland is now one of the leading recycling countries in the EU for packaging recycling. We have recycling targets set out by the Department and we have achieved and surpassed all of these year on year. Repak is a for purpose organisation, helping not only our members, but the environment as a whole.
Since 1997, over 2,000 Repak members have helped fund the diversion of 10.1 million tonnes of packaging waste, which before 1997 would have gone to landfill. In fact, 20 years ago Ireland had 154 landfill sites. Today, thanks to your commitment to the environment, there are just four.
With our members help, Repak has helped fund a recycling bin for almost every home in Ireland, alongside co-funding 886 Bottle Bank sites around the country in partnership with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
This Repak Recycle Week, we want to say commend Ireland’s recycling efforts and say thank you for helping the country become one of the top 10 in the EU for packaging recycling and recovery. As a nation, we have recycled 8 billion plastic bottles, 7 billion glass bottles, 6 billion cans and 4 million tonnes of cardboard and paper.