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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Brian Arthur Minister of State with special responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD and Repak Team Green Ambassador Roz Purcell
clean dry loose

Soft plastics can now be placed in Irish recycling bins

All plastics can now be placed in the household recycling bin once they are clean, dry and loose

ALL PLASTIC PACKAGING waste, including soft plastics, can be now placed in household recycling bins.

Soft plastics, those you can scrunch in your hand, were added to the household recycling list due to advancements in technology at Irish recycling facilities.

From today, all permitted waste collection companies are now accepting soft plastic packaging waste that is placed clean, dry and loose into the recycling bin along with rigid plastic.

There is a wide range of soft plastics including plastic wrap on products, plastic labels, plastic packaging pillows, bubble wrap, wrappers, crisp packets, and plastic carrier bags.  

“This is a significant and very positive development in Irish recycling and waste management, said Minister of State Ossian Smyth.

Currently in Ireland, we recycle less than a third of all plastic packaging waste. We have committed to increasing our plastic packaging recycling figure to 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030.

“Today’s announcement is a significant step towards achieving these targets.”

Pauline McDonogh, spokesperson for MyWaste said that the addition of soft plastic to the Irish household recycling bin makes waste segregation much more straightforward for the householder.

“Householders can now place all plastic packaging waste, including soft plastic, into the recycling bin once it is clean, dry and loose.

“Advancements have been made to the technology that segregates the different material types in recycling facilities. The recyclable plastic is sent to specialised, polymer-specific recycling facilities. If it cannot currently be recycled, it will be sent as Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) to replace fossil fuels at cement kilns.”

Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA) spokesperson Conor Walsh said members are committed to increasing recycling rates in Ireland and have installed “optical sorting equipment that can identify different polymers based on reflection and refraction of a beam of light and this has increased our ability to recycle more plastics2.

You can find a full list of items that can be put in your recycling bin here. 

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