Ireland’s rates for recycling are going in the wrong direction, according to the EPA.
It says recycling levels for packaging dropped by 10% between 2012 and 2018.
Ireland’s packaging recycling rate has been declining since 2012. Where reuse isn’t possible, we need to ensure that packaging is designed, produced and commercialised in a way that means it can be recycled. #packagingwaste @Dept_CCAE @MyWasteIreland @LAsIreland @RepakRecycling pic.twitter.com/sV0AcPrN7F
— EPA Ireland (@EPAIreland) July 31, 2020
- Recycling rates for packaging are declining - from 74% in 2012 to 64% in 2018 - coinciding with a greater amount incinerated for energy recovery
- Packaging now accounts for one-third of household waste with paper and cardboard, followed by plastic the most common type of packaging waste
- In relation to plastic packaging, Ireland recycled only a third of plastic packaging in 2018 which has decreased for the third year in a row
- Less recycling leads to missed opportunities in relation to the efficient use of waste materials and fostering a circular economy in Ireland
- We must reduce the amount of packaging used in the first place; improve separation of waste by Irish households and businesses; and broaden the scope of what can be recycled by expanding Ireland’s recycling list.
Commenting on the figures, Dr Tara Higgins, EPA Senior Scientist said,
"Each tonne of packaging releases greenhouse gases during extraction of raw materials, manufacture, transport and waste management process."
"The quantity of packaging waste generated needs to be reduced to bring about environmental and climate benefits."
"The Government's forthcoming Waste and Circular Economy Action Plan provides an opportunity to set out concrete actions that will address the worrying trends highlighted in these figures and help Ireland meet challenging new EU targets in the coming years."