The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. has today (Friday 21st of June) launched a new labelling system, unique to Ireland, to make it easier for people to recycle.
The Climate Action Plan to tackle climate breakdown, which was published by Minister Bruton earlier this week, commits to working with industry to improve labelling to avoid confusion or ambiguity.
Proper segregation of waste is crucial. It minimizes the amount of waste ending up in landfill and helps us use our resources more effectively. The three new labels being launched today are voluntary for use by producers, manufacturers and retailers. The labels clearly identify whether an item is widely recycled, whether it is not recyclable, and whether more information should be sought before deciding how to dispose.
These new labels are being introduced at a time when two thirds of the plastic used by industry in packaging is non-recyclable in Ireland today. This is just one initiative being put forward to encourage enterprise to reduce their use of non-recyclable materials and use recycled, recyclable packaging.
Minister Bruton said,
"People want to do the right thing when it comes to recycling but it can sometimes be confusing especially with plastics, to know which bin to use. It is easy to confuse the symbol which indicates that a manufacturer contributes to the cost of recycling with the symbol which means that the item is itself recyclable.
"These new labels will clearly show when to recycle or dispose of an item and I encourage all retailers, manufacturers and producers to take up this useful initiative. I'd also like to take this opportunity to encourage all retailers who haven't already, to sign up to the Repak Plastics Pledge, which is making a real difference in reducing packaging waste."
Co-operation between the Department, local authorities, Repak and the waste collection industry led to the development a single unified national recycling list for household waste collection in November, 2017. The Repak Plastics Pledge, which commits signatories to reducing plastic packaging waste and helping Ireland increase packaging recycling rates, will see over 10,600 tonnes of plastic packaging diverted from waste this year.
Mywaste.ie, funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, is the government's one stop shop providing householders with all the advice they need to prevent and manage waste.
Declan Breen from mywaste.ie said,
"We already have interest from major retailers in the new labelling system, and we look forward to rolling it out free of charge to producers, manufacturers and retailers."
To learn more about the new recycling label system and to apply for labels see www.mywaste.ie.
Notes for Editor
Repak's Plastic Pledge askes signatories to:
1. Prioritise the prevention of plastic packaging waste by minimising avoidable use packaging and promoting packaging reuse where possible.
2. Support Ireland to deliver the Circular Economy Package plastic recycling targets of 50% of all plastics by 2025 and 55% of all plastic packaging by 2030, as set by the European Commission.
3. Reduce complexity within the plastic packaging supply chain by simplifying polymer usage and eliminating non-recyclable components in all plastic packaging by 2030.
4. Help to build a circular economy for used plastic packaging in Ireland and Europe by increasing the use of plastic packaging with a recycled content.
5. Ensure our approach to plastic packaging reduction is aligned to Ireland 's goal of a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030 as set out in Ireland's food waste charter.