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More than half admit to being festive litterbugs

WE'LL gorge ourselves on four million boxes of chocolates and drink 22 million bottles of wine -- and then dump our rubbish at the side of the road.

A new survey from Repak says that, although most of us see littering at bring banks as being a problem, almost 60pc of people admit doing it from time to time.

And when the bottle bank is full, instead of driving to another one, almost half of people just dump their empties on the ground. However, these litter louts could be leaving themselves open to prosecution, the recycling group warns.

"We have picked up some bad habits when it comes to recycling around Christmas," a spokesman said.

"According to our survey, 87pc see littering at a bring bank as a problem, but 57pc of people admitted to leaving recyclable on the ground at a full bring bank. That means they are contributing to the littering and leaving themselves open to prosecution."

The group aims to collect 34,000 tonnes of waste to recycle this year -- not a difficult task given that each home in Ireland will produce 51kgs of packaging this Christmas.

Repak also says:

• Enough packaging is produced to fill 2.7 million green bins over the festive period.

• Each household consumes an average of 40 litres of alcohol, 58 litres of soft drinks and 3kg of chocolates.

• Recycling this Christmas could avoid 40,000 tonnes of carbon, or the equivalent of taking 26,000 cars off the road.

• Christmas sees a 25-30pc increase in the volume of used packaging produced versus the rest of the year.

Repak has also launched a new phone app to help people find recycling centres. This is because 65pc of people admit they do not know all the recycling facilities in their area.

"During the Christmas period people will typically have more to recycle," chief executive Dr Andrew Hetherington said.

"We developed the smartphone Recyclemore app on iPhone and Android, to help people easily access information on recycling centres and alternative bring banks within easy reach."

Irish Independent