IRELAND ACHIEVED its recycling targets for the 24th year in a row, a new report by the non-profit organization Repak found.
The report showed how Repak achieved an overall recycling rate of 66% and a recovery rate of 96%, which exceeded the EU’s targets of 65% for recycling and 75% for recovery.
In 2021, the non-profit organization financed the recycling and utilization of 1,020,580 tons of packaging material – for the third time it exceeded one million.
“Overall, the recycling rate increased by 15,639 tons (2.2%) to 718,683 tons. Households in particular contributed to the increase in the recycling rate (4% increase). Repak financed the use of 302,000 tons of packaging – a decrease of 33,000 tons (10%) compared to 2020, which was caused by the diversion of more material for recycling, “the report said.
The number of tons of plastics recycled was 96,412, which is an 8% increase compared to 2020. The total plastics recycling rate increased from 29% to 31% during the year.
The report found: “All key materials have exceeded the current EU recycling targets: glass 86% (EU target 60%), metal 71% (EU target 50%), paper 84% (EU target 60%), plastic 31% (target EU: 22.5%), Wood 69% (EU target 15%).
“Paper has also increased compared to 2020, in 2021 another 5,757 tons were recycled. Glass (6,361 tonnes) and steel (1,827 tonnes) showed a small decrease in 2020, with extended closures caused by Covid-19 for businesses during the year the main reason and in line with expectations due to the pandemic. “
Speaking about the strong performance of the Irish waste industry, Chief Repak Séamus Clancy said:
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“Ireland has been a leader in waste management for the last 23 years and has surpassed all previous targets, but we are now reaching a critical point. Policies designed to achieve future recycling targets are now being implemented, and this requires the evolution of how we handle packaging waste.
“To date, excellent progress has been made in implementing key legislative requirements, thanks to the significant work Repak has done to enforce the policy in a financially prudent and innovative way.”