Changes to the recycling rules in Ireland are “positive” but we need to more to reduce plastic use at source, according to an Irish environmental group.
All plastic packaging – including soft plastic – can now be disposed of in your household recycling bin – provided it is ‘clean, dry and loose.’
Over recent years, only rigid plastics were supposed to go in the green bin.
The change is due to segregation upgrades at Irish recycling facilities. All recyclable plastic will be sent to specialised recycling facilities, while softer plastics that can’t currently be recycled will used to make Solid Recovered Fuel which can replace fossil fuels at cement kilns.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Mindy O'Brien, Co-ordinator of the voice of Irish Concerned for the Environment (VOICE) group said the change is positive.
“We are able to put those soft plastics back in,” she said.
“The technology has improved and there are more venues for this plastic to go to – but we always say prevention is better than the cure.
“So, what we are saying is, yes, recycling is good, but we want prevention. We need to put pressure on the politicians and on the retailers to reduce the amount of plastic they are putting in the market in the first place, so we don’t have to choose which bin to put it into.”
Great news, it is now easier for you to recycle your plastics! From today all plastic packaging can loosely go into household recycling bin- everything from a plastic bottle to the plastic film on fruit packs will now be recycled. @RepakRecycling @MyWasteIreland @RozannaPurcell pic.twitter.com/7JYcA2U8C8
— Ossian Smyth TD (@smytho) September 6, 2021
Ireland currently recycles less than one-third of all plastic packaging waste; however, the Government has committed to increasing that 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030.
Over €10m has been invested in Irish recycling facilities in the last few years and many now use optical sorting equipment that can identify different plastic types based on reflection and refraction of light beams.
Repak Team Green Ambassador Roz Purcell said: “The Irish citizen can play a key role in helping Ireland increase our plastic packaging waste recycling rate and continue our journey to becoming a more sustainable society.
“We can make a big difference by simply ensuring that we place the plastic packaging waste that we discard – clean, dry and loose - into our household recycling bin.”
All permitted waste collection companies are now accepting soft plastic packaging waste that is placed clean, dry and loose into the recycling bin.
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