Ireland expected to generate 86,000 tonnes of packaging waste this Christmas

That's an increase of 3,000 tonnes from the previous year

Ireland expected to generate 86,000 tonnes of packaging waste this Christmas

Used plastic water bottles collected in France, Belgium and Germany are prepared to be recycled into eco-friendly items in Sainte-Marie-la-Blanche, France | Image: Fourmy Mario/ABACA/PA Images

A new study says almost one-third of Irish shoppers have a full recycling bin before Christmas even begins.

Repak has revealed Ireland's recycling habits over the festive season.

The country is expected to generate 86,000 tonnes of packaging waste - the equivalent to the combined packaging waste of Kilkenny and Galway in a year.

That is an increase of 3,000 tonnes from the previous year.

Repak is encouraging Irish shoppers to pledge their support for 'Team Green' - a new initiative by the not-for-profit recycling scheme.

It says: "Shoppers nationwide can demonstrate their commitment to increasing Ireland's recycling levels by making a conscious decision to shop with a Repak member this Christmas.

"By shopping with a Repak member, as well as by recycling correctly at home, consumers can feel assured that they are playing a key role to protect Ireland's environment for future generations."

Three-quarters of respondents say they plan to 'actively improve' on their recycling habits this festive season.

File photo

Of those, 19% will make at least three trips to a bottle bank or recycling centre before the Christmas holidays are over.

Over 1,000 people were surveyed for the study - which found that one in 10 people admitted they do not make a conscious effort to cut down on generating non-recyclable waste.

When asked why, 25% believe they do not have the time - and a further 30% do not think there is a need to recycle correctly at Christmas.

While one-quarter of people say they will buy more than 15 Christmas gifts - another 33% will purchase at least 10.

And three in 10 people will purchase at least 50% of their presents online.

A further 34% of shoppers will buy at least 30% of their Christmas presents online.

When asked why, convenience - as well as an admittance that the internet has changed the way they shop - were the reasons cited.

An earlier Repak surveyed showed that the amount of packaging waste generated in Ireland from online shopping outside the State will grow by 34% in 2018.

Ireland is generating over 10,000 tonnes of packaging waste from online shopping per year, up from 7,500 tonnes in 2017.