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Less Than One Third Of Irish Waste Is Recycled

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09:34 10 Sep 2021


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Less than a third of Ireland's packaging waste was recycled in 2019 according to the latest figures from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The total volume of packaging waste generated in Ireland rose by 11 percent that year compared to the previous year.

It was also the third year in a row that the total was over 1 million tonnes, according to the EPA.

The body also says around 52,000 tonnes of recyclable waste was sent for incineration in 2019.

The recent inclusion of soft plastics to the list of recyclable items along with the forthcoming deposit return scheme for plastic bottles should see recycling rates go up.

If both of these measures were included in recycling rather than incineration, Ireland could see those rates go from 28% to around 40%

'Unnecessary Incineration'

The EPA's Director of Environmental Sustainability, Sharon Finegan, says everyone has a responsibility to stop materials going for unnecessary incineration:

"There are real opportunities for improvement and there are already identified ways to achieve a more circular economy.

Thinking about the generation problem, a ban on single use plastics was introduced in July this year so no more cotton buds, plastic cutlery, plastic plates and straws and so on."

"And we're going to see a further reduction in single use plastic."

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