The Sodshow, Garden Podcast

News: Repak’s National Recycling Week 2014


peter donegan, pippa oconnor, recycle dublin garden

This in from Cyril and the team at Repak. An interesting press release if I do say so.

Maybe unknowns but…. Repak are also former guests of The Sodshow and were sponsors of the podcast going way back when before it became a radio show. And Peter built a garden for them for Recycle Week some years back as well. We have history. Don’t we all says you. We also like what they do.

Sin Bin! 7/10 Irish People Putting Contaminated and Incorrect Items In Green Bin, Including Nappies, Razors And Cigarette Butts

  • EU Experts name Ireland as second in Europe for packaging recycling but Repak wants to get the Emerald Isle to number one!
  • Repak launches its 14th Repak Recycling Week on October 13th and wants to encourage Irish consumers to avoid green bin contamination.
  • 9/10 claim to know what goes in the green bin but 7/10 are putting incorrect items into it including nappies, razors and cigarette butts
  • 6/10 reckon the green bin offenders should be penalised with a fine
  • Irish businesses have invested over €300 million through Repak in ensuring that their packaging does not go to waste.

Green Bin Shame

As part of Repak Recycling Week 2014, Repak has commissioned a study with Amárach Research which reveals that 7 out of 10 Irish people are major green bin sinners, disposing of incorrect and downright dirty household materials in their recycling bin, including nappies, razors and cigarette butts.

To add to the sin bin, other incorrect items that frequently crop up in the green bin are greasy cooking foil, glass containers, unrinsed food containers, garden waste, shoes, clothes and handbags.

Penalties for Sinners

Despite the fact that 9 out of 10 people claim to know what goes in their green bin, these majorly dirty secrets show that Ireland could do with cleaning up its act in the green bin department.

According to Repak’s research, people seem to agree as six in ten Irish people believe that those who use their bin incorrectly should be penalised for contaminating it with the wrong waste.

The Good News

The good news is that 98% of people in Ireland recycle. Munster residents are officially the best recyclers in Ireland with 74% in Munster recycling over half of of their household waste, compared to 63% in Dublin, 68% in the rest of Leinster and 62% in Connaught and Ulster.  In addition, nationally, the majority of those with green (or blue bins) say they rinse their recyclables before putting them in the bin (78%).  According to the research, the vast majority of recycling is done from the kitchen (95%), followed at a distance by the bathroom from which 54% of household recycling is done.

We’re In This Together: Manufacturers’ Contribution

The majority (72%) of Irish adults feel that manufacturers and retailers should pay towards the recovery and recycling of packaging they supply. Despite this strong view, just 13% of Irish adults are actually aware of the names of any manufacturers and retailers who make payments towards material recycling and recovery. A huge majority (82%) said they would feel more positively towards manufacturers and retailers if they paid towards the cost of recycling and recovering the materials they produced, with just 17% saying it would make no difference to them.

Seamus Clancy, CEO Repak said: “If your bin is contaminated with rubbish or dirty recyclables it makes the recycling process a lot more difficult. We are all in this together, let’s take the time to ensure what we put into our recycling bin is both clean and correct so that the materials can become similar products that can be used and recycled again.’’

He added: “Back in 1997, Ireland was one of the weakest performers in Europe at packaging recycling; Eurostat has now announced that we are now 2nd h, which is a great achievement. We’re confident that between Repak, our partners, our members and consumers we can make it to number one and truly deserve our reputation as the greenest country in Europe!”

Repak, this year, celebrates 17 years of packaging recycling success in Ireland. This is due to the consistent commitment of its 2,120 members who fund the recycling of 713,000 tonnes of used packaging which was placed on the market by them in 2013, and the Irish consumers who are active recyclers.

Irish businesses have collectively invested €300 million since 1997 through Repak to drive Ireland’s packaging recycling efforts. This has lifted Ireland from being one of Europe’s poorest performers to a position where we are now 2nd in Europe for packaging recycling.

Promoting “recycle better” behaviour

The idea of recycle better is to highlight the issue of contamination and negative impact on quality of recyclables placed in the wrong collection systems lowering the market value of materials in the collection systems. Repak wants to encourage people to “recycle better” by promoting good recycling behaviour such as;

  1. Ensuring you rinse any food or liquid residues from containers.
  2. Ensuring they are fully aware of what can go in their “green bin” and not place incorrect materials in “green bin”.  To be clear what should go into your three or two bin system.
  3. To ensure they know the correct collection day for their area (so recyclables do not build up and get put in other bins).
  4. To flatten and crush most containers to get more into your recycling bins.
  5. To not put mixed recyclables compacted into a box or bag and then into “green bins” (as these need to be pulled out for mechanical separation.
  6. Not to put food waste or other compostable materials (such as garden waste) in “dry recycling bins” (i.e. Green/blue bins).
  7. Not to put electrical items in your green bin.
  8. Not to put clothes in your green bins.
  9. Not to put old shoes in the green bins.
  10. Not to put used batteries in your green bins.
  11. Recycle more items from the bathroom or others areas of house.

Repak, this year, celebrates 17 years of packaging recycling success in Ireland. This is due to the consistent commitment of its 2,120 members who fund the recycling of 713,000 tonnes of used packaging which was placed on the market by them in 2013, and the Irish consumers who are active recyclers.

As part of the Week, the Repak Recycling Awards will take place on the Friday October 17th at The Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny. The awards recognise the efforts and ingenuity of Repak Members, from Industry, Local Authorities and Collectors in the area of packaging prevention, reuse and recycling as well as best practice in waste electrical and electronic recycling.

Visit to find out more about the week.

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