How does the Irish Recovery system work?

Household waste
They can either:

  • comply directly with their producer responsibility obligations (i.e. self-compliance), or
  • get an exemption from those requirements by becoming a member of a packaging waste compliance scheme. 

Repak Limited was established by Irish industry in 1997 to promote, co-ordinate and finance the collection and recovery of packaging waste - is the sole approved compliance scheme for the recovery of packaging waste in Ireland.

Commercial waste
In addition, all businesses and organisations must

  • segregate the packaging waste arising on their own premises into specified waste streams (i.e. aluminium, fibreboard, glass, paper, plastic sheeting, steel and wood) and
  • arrange for it to be collected by authorised operators for recycling. 

This effectively prohibits the landfill of such materials from commercial sources.

Results
Ireland has been very successful in achieving targets for recovery of municipal waste, with packaging waste recovery increasing from 15% in 1998 to 70% today -  meeting the requirements of EU legislation years ahead of schedule.

The following information is published by the Environmental Protection Agency.  'Recovery' figures for some materials may include composting and recovery of energy from waste. However, all aluminium recovered is recycled, with the majority being aluminium drinks cans.

Disposal and recovery of municipal waste, 2012 NWR (Source EPA)

Packaging waste 2012

Trends in recovery of Municipal Waste 2012

Recovery pf packaging waste through 2012