Waste from Packaging

Recovery of Packaging Waste 2006-2011 and Progress Towards Targets.
National Waste Report for 2011 (EPA, 2013).

Ireland’s success in recovering packaging waste has increased significantly in the past twenty years. The trend to 2011 is shown in the graph above.

In accordance with the European Commission directive on packaging waste, all producers, including retailers, who place packaging on the Irish market, must divide up their packaging waste into separate waste types (i.e. waste aluminium, fibreboard, glass, paper, plastic sheeting, steel and wood) and organise the collection of these different types of waste by authorised recycling operators. Further information is available in the 2003 Packaging Regulations.

Repak Limited is the only approved compliance scheme in Ireland for the recovery of packaging waste. Their role involves the promotion, co-ordination and financing of both the collection and recovery of packaging waste throughout the country. Repak are also committed to achieving Ireland’s targets for packaging waste recovery and recycling

The Waste Management (Packaging) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 outlined EU packaging waste recovery targets for Ireland of 60% (with 55% for recycling) and included material-specific recycling targets for 2011, which Ireland met. The Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations 2007 introduced a range of measures to improve the recovery and recycling of packaging waste in Ireland.

An intensive programme of regulatory updating has been carried out under the Waste Management Act, 1996. These Regulations address matters such as waste planning, producer responsibility obligations, the movement, transhipment and general control of hazardous wastes, and public access to information, as well as waste licensing and permitting. All regulations can be viewed on the Irish Statute Book website  and the central legislation area of the DCLG.

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