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Repak calls for tighter legislation controls

Growth in packaging recycling in Ireland and escalation in related costs have prompted producer responsibility scheme Repak to call for tighter controls on companies who ignore or flout EU waste legislation to safeguard future growth targets. In its annual results Repak found that packaging recycling had risen by 7%. But that the cost of collecting and processing this material had grown by 26%. Currently, Irish legislation requires industry to deal with the recovery and recycling of its packaging waste under EU waste legislation. Companies with a turnover of more than EURO 1 million and which produce more than 25 tonnes of packaging must either join a collective producer responsibility scheme (Repak) or accept packaging back from their customers, which is called Self Compliance. However, loose control of companies exercising self compliance and companies that completely ignore regulations mean that the burden of future cost will not be spread fairly across industry. The scheme funds the recovery and recycling of about 64% of packaging, which is paid for by members of the scheme. But despite recent membership growth the members of the scheme only account for 61% of the total packaging produced despite funding 100% of its recycling. One solution under consideration is the reduction of the De Minmis threshold, which would reduce the 25 tonnes threshold which requires compliance to 10 tonnes. Repak chief executive Andrew Hetherington said: To meet future national recycling targets, more will need to be recycled from the domestic bin which will see costs rise significantly.This means industry will need to pay more but we believe the proposed reduction in the De Minmis threshold in the Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations (threshold for obligation) from 25 tonnes to 10 tonnes will play an important role in increasing compliance with the Regulations and spreading the burden of future cost increases across more businesses than Repaks current 2,200 members.

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