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Panda to charge customers for recycling in response to China's European plastic ban

The company said it will be charging 80 cents per lift and 4.5 cents per kilogramme.

Panda described its price as a
Panda described its price as a "relatively small" amount to pay to be able to recycle in a sustainable manner.
Image: Nic Mac Innes/RollingNews.ie

THE PANDA WASTE company has told customers that it plans to start charging customers for recycling from next month.

In an email to customers, seen by TheJournal.ie, the company said it will be charging 80 cents per lift and 4.5 cents per kilogramme to collect, process and transport recyclables.

China, which took 95% of Ireland’s plastic waste in 2016, last year decided to ban the importing of plastics from European countries and this law came into effect on 1 January.

Panda said that with China closed as an outlet, “the cost of recycling worldwide has escalated dramatically as more companies world-wide jostle for access to reduced outlets in the rest of the world”.

Panda described its price as a “relatively small” amount to pay to be able to recycle in a sustainable manner for future generations.

The waste company’s email said:

“Taking this charge into account Panda are still cheaper than the County Council were charging for their service 12 years ago when we first entered the market.

Panda have since expanded the service to include a brown bin service for organic waste and a bin-washing service for all bins.

Another major waste company, Greyhound, said it was monitoring the situation and had not yet made a decision.

“It has been widely reported that the change in Chinese policy has had a significant impact on the global recycling market and Ireland is no different to anywhere else in the world where local markets have experienced a significant increase in costs and in some cases a total loss of some outlets,” a statement said.

Greyhound has absorbed this cost to date and is exhausting all options before making a definitive decision.

The Panda charges, which will come into effect on 19 April, have already come in for criticism.

“Once you put private companies in charge of something, they are only interested in profit, and it was blindingly obvious that China’s decision to stop importing European plastic waste would have this effect,” Councillor Éilis Ryan of the Workers’ Party said.

Related: China took 95% of Ireland’s plastic waste – but now it’s changed its mind and we’re in trouble>

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