Irish consumers are among the European Union's (EU) best recyclers, according to Repak, the country's voluntary initiative between industry and government.
Speaking at Repak's annual general meeting in Dublin this week Seamus Clancy, the group's chief executive, said last year had been a “turning point” for the organization.
Noting that overall recycling results of 71 percent were “well ahead” of government-approved targets of 65 percent, Clancy said: “We have continued to increase our recycling and recovery rates year-on-year, keeping Ireland amongst the top in Europe, while ensuring there is no increase in fees to our members.
“We have seen our approval to act as a compliance scheme extended to 2019, the agreement of a five year strategic plan and for every one euro spent, 82 percent went into direct recycling. This is due to the support and contribution of our members.”
Repak reported a total 812,046 metric tons of household waste was recovered in 2014, of which 12 percent was plastic. Paper came out on top, at 49 percent, with glass at 21 percent.
Clancy said there would be “challenges ahead for Repak and its members due to new targets and ambitions being proposed by Brussels as part of the Circular Economy Package to extend producer responsibility.
“We will continue to work with our associates across the EU member states to facilitate a common and realistic approach to what Irish businesses can deliver,” he added.