According to the packaging recycling schemes figures, for the first time domestic recycling through household recycling collection systems jumped ahead of material collected through bring facilities, such as bring banks and recycling centres. Domestic recycling through household collection systems grew by 26 per cent to over 107,000 tonnes this year against 105,000 tonnes recycled at bring facilities.
Ireland reached its EU packaging recycling target three years ahead of schedule with Irish householders recycling almost 10 per cent more used packaging than in 2007, equating to 144kg of used packaging per household. Households made up 30 per cent of the total collected used packaging figure of 713,000 tonnes.
Repak chief executive Dr. Andrew Hetherington said although these figures show the big uptake by consumers, progress is being restricted. He continued: In the 12 years since the legislation was first introduced, we still find ourselves held back by the 40 per cent of packaging placed on the market outside of the scheme. These are mainly by law breaking companies which continue to ignore Irish law and refuse to pay towards the recycling of the packaging they supply to their customers. This means that over €24 million that could be spent on recycling is being withheld by these companies.
Further success this year includes Repak subsidising the recovery and recycling of 339,100 tonnes of paper and cardboard, which was an increase of 18 per cent on 2007. Household used plastic packaging recycling increased by 5,650 tonnes from 2007 to 2008. Wood packaging waste was up 4 per cent on the previous year too. However metal packaging waste was unchanged from 2007.
Repak operates by charging its 2,333 members packaging levies for the amount and type of packaging they use on their products. This money is then used to support recycling collections run by local authorities and waste contractors throughout the country via a network of green bin collections, bring banks and recycling centres and by supporting commercial collections.