30 Sep Ireland’s recycling rates have been declining since 2013 because of rise in packaging
Ireland generated more than 1.1 million tonnes of packaging waste in one year
It is the third year in a row that 1 million tonnes has been exceed, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We need to rethink how we make, transport and use products, cutting down on unnecessary packaging and maximising reuse and recycling,” the agency said in a report issued on Friday.
Many readily recyclable plastic items, such as drinks bottles, are still being put in the general waste bin and ending up being incinerated instead of recycled.
Less than one third of plastic packaging was recycled in 2019, with almost all remaining plastic being sent for incineration, the EPA confirmed.
There have been improvements in those figures since, recycling company Repak underlined.
This week the Government announced all plastics can be put in the recycling bin in an effort to scale up recycling levels. the move follows waste operators improvements in waste segregation by operators as well as investment in new plastics recycling infrastructure.
The reintroduction of soft plastics to Ireland’s recycling list and the forthcoming deposit return scheme for plastic drinks bottles and aluminium cans “are positive steps ”, the EPA acknowledged.
Most of the packaging received consisted of plastic and paper/cardboard, with smaller amounts of glass, wood and metal. Almost all plastic and paper/cardboard, as well as most metal packaging waste, was sent abroad for recycling.
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