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Ireland raises bar on packaging recycling

Ireland – Ireland exceeded its recovery and recycling targets for packaging in 2011, despite having faced a ‘€˜challenging year’€™, according to the country’€™s recycling authority, Repak.

The country beat its targets by recovering and recycling 652 000 tonnes of material, an increase of 4.1% over 2010, said Repak CEO Dr Andrew Hetherington. He added that of the total tonnage Repak funded, 89% was recycled and 11% was recovered.

Ireland currently ranks seventh among EU members in terms of its packaging performance, according to Eurostat. Dr Hetherington attributes this encouraging position to the ‘€˜tremendous commitment’€™ of all parties involved, pointing out that Repak has reduced its overall costs by some 7.6%. The average cost per tonne of material recovered through the scheme has come down from ‘‚¬45 to ‘‚¬40.

However, Dr Hetherington fears that the current producer responsibility initiative could force up costs for Repak member companies and has expressed concern about the government’€™s possible introduction of a packaging tax and a proposed nationwide deposit and refund scheme for certain types of packaging waste.

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