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Wrapping waste used in online deliveries has increased by 28% - report

Repak wants online retailers to contribute to recycling efforts being made here in Ireland.

Image: Juta via Shutterstock

THE AMOUNT OF packaging material being generated in Ireland from online shops outside the state grew by 28% last year, a report by Repak has said.

Most of the imported packaging into Ireland is cardboard, making up 77% of the total weight of packaging materials. The second largest material in tonnes was low-density polyethylene (13.3%), followed by paper (4.8%) and glass (3.6%).

But the report says that online retailers from outside the state, such as Amazon and Ebay, are using a loophole in the law to avoid spending money towards recycling the packaging they deliver in Ireland.

The Repak report indicates that over 7,520 tonnes of waste packaging are being delivered to Irish households each year by international online retailers.

Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak Recycling said that it amounted to “the likes of Amazon… dumping over 7,000 tonnes on us”.

To put it in context, that level of waste is the equivalent of all waste generated by a town of 16,000 people. This material has to be collected, gathered and recycled.

“It is costing Repak members approximately €500,000 a year to recycle and recover this packaging, of which international retailers do not pay a penny.”

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The report calls on the Department of Communications, Climate Change and the Environment, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, to work towards a solution to the problem.

The report Study of online consumer sales, the impact of online consumer sales on additional packaging in Ireland can be read online here.

Read: Over half of Irish people want a ban on single-use coffee cups

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