Ireland has achieved great success in recent years in recovering and recycling packaging waste.
It is estimated that 870,109 tonnes of packaging waste was generated in Ireland in 2013. Of the total generated, 766,847 tonnes (88%) was recovered (including preparation for reuse, recycling, energy recovery and other recovery) and 610,397 tonnes (70%) was recycled. The most recent Waste Packaging Statistics for Ireland published by the EPA in May 2016 show that that Ireland has met and exceeded the overall EU packaging waste recovery rate and the recycling rate targets since they came into force.
The packaging compliance scheme is operated by Repak who are approved under part IV of the European Union (Packaging) Regulations 2014. Under these regulations producers of packaging have the option to self-comply with the provisions therein or to become a member of Repak who carry out these obligations on their behalf.
Repak is approved by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment to operate as a compliance scheme for packaging recovery. It is a not for profit company set up by Irish business and owned by its members. Repak charges fees to its members in accordance with the amount and type of packaging they place on the Irish market. These fees are used to subsidise the collection and recovery of waste packaging through registered recovery operators across Ireland – so that the individual member companies are exempt from this requirement.