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To reach EU targets Ireland needs to increase its plastic recycling by 80%

According to Repak, Ireland’s plastic recycling must increase to 175,000 tonnes by 2030 to reach new EU targets.

Image: Shutterstock/Trong Nguyen

IRELAND NEEDS TO increase its plastic recycling by 80% to reach EU targets set for 2030, according to Repak.

The not-for-profit recycling company has published its Plastic Packaging Recycling Strategy 2018-2030, calling on the government to establish a plastics working group to help encourage recycling. 

According to the company, for Ireland to meet the EU’s targets, the government needs to play a critical leadership role in the coordination of the new strategy in order to achieve a major attitudinal change in society. 

Early this year, the European Commission Plastic’s Strategy was published and under the new plans all plastic packaging on the EU market will be recyclable by 2030, the consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced and the intentional use of microplastics will be restricted.

In order to meet the 55% recycling target, Ireland will need to recycle 175,824 tonnes of plastic in 2030.

Previously, Ireland had surpassed every packaging recycling target in the last 20 years but the new targets are going to be a real challenge to reach as Ireland needs to make recycling and reusing plastics a regular behaviour across society, according to Repak.

Currently, 20% of Irish plastics have ended up in landfills or been incinerated while the report also found that 87,000 tonnes of contaminated material are still ending up in the recycling bin which prevents it from being recycled. 

Repak’s CEO, Séamus Clancy has said that the everybody along the waste supply will have to play their part. 

“The Plastic Pledge is highly significant. We’ll be encouraging our Repak members to sign up to our ‘Plastic Pledge’ thus showing that they’re committed to tackling plastic packaging waste.

“This will involve making reductions to the level of complex packaging, using easier-to- recycle material for packaging and embracing new packaging designs in the future.

Repak has estimated that it will require €200 million of investment across the public and private sectors to achieve the recycling targets over the period of the strategy.

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Adam Daly

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