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Staggering 72% Recycling Rate Among Repak Plastic Pledge Signatories in 2023

Significant Progress in Plastic Recycling

Repak’s sixth annual Plastic Pledge Report reveals that its Plastic Pledge Signatories have achieved a remarkable 72% recycling rate for plastic packaging at their premises in 2023. This achievement surpasses the EU Circular Economy Package’s targets, which mandate a 50% recycling rate by 2025 and 55% by 2030. The report tracks the impact of the Plastic Pledge initiative on the behaviours and design choices of the signatories, showcasing their commitment to reducing plastic waste and adopting sustainable packaging solutions.

Notable Contributions from Industry Leaders

Several leading companies have demonstrated significant advancements in their sustainability efforts:

  • Lidl transitioned from a rigid plastic lid to a lighter film on their pasta pots, reducing the packaging weight by 50% and saving 16.5 tonnes of plastic.
  • The Culinary Food Group successfully diverted six tonnes of plastic box liners from general waste.
  • Aldi introduced a fully recyclable handwash pump, resulting in a reduction of 30 tonnes of packaging per year.
  • Nestlé redesigned the wrapper for their two-finger KitKat to include 80% recycled plastic, setting a high standard for other companies to follow.

These efforts reflect a broader trend among the 151 Repak Members who have signed the Plastic Pledge, including the aforementioned prominent names like Aldi, Lidl, Nestlé, and The Culinary Food Group.

Objectives of the Repak Plastic Pledge

The Repak Plastic Pledge outlines several key objectives aimed at enhancing plastic packaging sustainability:

  1. Prevention: Prioritising the prevention of plastic packaging waste.
  2. Support: Assisting Ireland in meeting EU plastic recycling targets.
  3. Simplification: Reducing complexity within the plastic packaging supply chain by simplifying polymer usage and eliminating non-recyclable components by 2030.
  4. Increased Recycled Content: Encouraging the use of recycled content in plastic packaging.

These goals are essential for ensuring that Ireland not only meets but exceeds the EU Circular Economy targets.

A Call to Action for All Organisations

Zoe Kavanagh, CEO of Repak, emphasised the importance of these advancements and called on all organisations across Ireland to adopt the exemplary practices outlined in the Plastic Pledge. “The commitment of the Signatories to recycling innovation and plastic reduction stands as a beacon of what is possible and should be used as a model for others to follow,” she stated. If all organisations in Ireland embraced the Plastic Pledge, achieving the EU Circular Economy targets would become a reality.

Minister of State Ossian Smyth TD highlighted the significance of collective efforts in overcoming the challenges posed by plastic packaging. “The plastic pledge reports show that we are committed to achieving meaningful change in the realm of plastic packaging,” he said, reinforcing the need for continued collaboration and commitment.

Let’s Recycle It’s Perspective

At Let’s Recycle It, we believe in the transformative power of recycling and the critical role it plays in preserving our environment. The achievements outlined in Repak’s Plastic Pledge Report demonstrate that substantial progress is possible when organisations commit to sustainable practices. We applaud the efforts of the Plastic Pledge Signatories and encourage all businesses to adopt similar measures.

As a company dedicated to recycling and sustainability, we are committed to supporting initiatives that promote environmental responsibility. We see immense value in incentivising recycling and enforcing regulations that drive positive change. By working together and embracing innovative solutions, we can create a more sustainable future for all. Let’s make recycling not just a necessity but a standard practice that benefits both our economy and our planet.

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