Monday 11 December 2017

Seasonal waste likely to top 44,000 tonnes this year

Developer Greg Coughlan
Developer Greg Coughlan
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

IF all that shopping, wrapping and dipping into the chocolate box over Christmas feels a bit like hard work, that's because it really is.

In a mammoth effort this season, Irish households will buy and exchange over 12 million gifts, devour five million boxes of chocolates, drink 24 Olympic sized swimming pools of booze -- and generate enough packaging waste to fill 647 articulated trucks.

Recycling is merely the easy part.

Repak, the not-for-profit recycling scheme, is urging householders to redouble their efforts this Christmas to 'recycle better'.

Each home will generate around 44 kilos of used packaging over the holiday and hope to recover over 44,000 tonnes in total.

Repak's members have invested €253m to support the recovery and recycling of their used packaging over the last 15 years, through supporting recycling collections as well as awareness campaigns.

Ireland ranks fourth in the EU for best recycling.

Tips for keeping the recycling situation under control over Christmas include keeping all recyclables separated; maximising space in green bins by washing and squashing plastic containers; crushing or folding boxes and to fold used wrapping paper rather than scrunching it, which will take up less space.

Householders are also urged to keep all cardboard and paper in dry conditions and to not let it get wet.

Bill Collins, interim CEO of Repak, said the organisation expects to once again exceed its recovery and recycling targets for 2013.

"This Christmas, Repak are looking to recover over 44,000 tonnes of household used packaging," he said.

"This is significant progress considering that in 2001 we were only recycling 31,000 tonnes of used household packaging in a full year."

Irish Independent

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