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Ireland surpasses all EU recycling targets including plastics, glass and metal

Ireland currently recycles 33% of all plastics, which needs to rise to 50% in 2025 and 55% by 2030 to meet EU targets.

Image: Shutterstock/sirtravelalot

IRELAND HAS SURPASSED every recycling and recovery target set for it by the European Commission, making it the 21st year in a row that Ireland has surpassed all recycling and recovery targets.

Ireland’s overall recycling rate of 68% for all materials is ahead of the EU targets by 13% and one of the lead performances in Europe, according to Repak.

The breakdown of recycling rates by materials are as follows:

  • Glass at 86% (EU target: 60%)
  • Metals at 79% (EU target: 50%)
  • Paper at 78% (EU target: 60%)
  • Wood at 95% (EU target: 15%)
  • Plastic at 33% (EU target: 22.5%).

In 2018, recycling increased by 15,930 tonnes (2.5%) to 636,310 tonnes and plastic waste recovery increased by 70,431 tonnes (35.7%) to 267,939 tonnes.

In total, Repak funded the recovery and recycling of 904,249 tonnes of packaging waste in 2018, an increase of 86,361 tonnes from 2017. This is the highest volume ever recorded in Ireland, and a 10.5% increase on 2017’s figure.

The announcement was made this morning by Repak, Ireland’s only government-approved packaging recycling compliance scheme, at the launch of its 2018 Annual Report, ‘Shared Responsibility’.

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Repak funds the collection of household recycling bins, civic amenity sites and bottle banks nationwide. In 2018, household and domestic recycling increased by 6,000 tonnes (2%) and commercial recycling increased by 10,000 tonnes (3%).

While Ireland currently recycles 33% of all plastics, higher than most EU countries, that figure needs to rise to 50% in 2025 and 55% by 2030 to meet EU targets.

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