Attendees were told of a 6.6% increase - equating to an increase
of 40,000 tonnes - in recycling rates for 2007, at the opening
of the Repak Annual Members conference, which took place on
The 643,000 tonnes of used packaging recycled in 2007 is
equivalent to 150 kilos recycled per person in Ireland in
2007. This brings the total amount of used packaging diverted
from landfill to in excess of 3.6 million tonnes since 1998.
Over the same period, Repak has invested over €145 million
supporting packaging recycling, with €27 million raised in
packaging levies from Repak members in 2007 alone.
“Despite increasing the amount raised from industry by over
14% in 2007” - Dr. Andrew Hetherington, CEO of Repak warned
- “costs will increase as we dig deeper into the household
recycling bin to meet higher packaging recycling targets.
Not only will existing members need to pay more, but with
only 630,000 tonnes of used packaging - or 60% of all packaging
- in the scheme, we need the Minister's and the department's
support to help drive compliance with producer responsibility
and, thereby, increase Repak’s coverage of the overall market.”
He added - “In recent years, Ireland has seen an increase
in packaging usage based on increased consumption, but consumers
still continue to recycle more and more, thereby growing our
overall recycling rates. However, the key to reaching the
2011 targets set by the EU will be growing compliance with
producer responsibility and driving packaging prevention and
minimisation, which is the main focus of the Repak Members
Against this backdrop, the conference also saw the introduction
of a new booklet - 'Packaging Optimisation: Decision or
Dilemma'. This booklet was compiled after an intensive
study of the packaging supply chain in Ireland - and was commissioned
by Repak and the EPA and carried out by UK consultants, Perchards.
The case studies in the booklet show the benefits, gains and
challenges facing companies who are attempting to reduce packaging.
The computer software manufacturer, Symantec, revealed
a €400,000 financial saving over 12 months from their various
packaging prevention and minimisation initiatives. This was
announced as they presented their exemplary case study at
the conference. In total, they prevented 354 tonnes of packaging
being produced. This was through two main initiatives - by
encouraging customers to download their product online instead
of buying a hard copy and, secondly, significant overhauls
of their packaging design resulting in the reduction of 108
metric tonnes of packaging.
Dr. Hetherington, said - “The reduction and prevention of
packaging will be a main focus and challenge for Repak in
the future. We commissioned this report on the packaging supply
chain to give us a better understanding of how and where we
can have an impact on the packaging produced - and we plan
to use the findings of the study to further progress our work
in this area.
"Reducing packaging can have many multifaceted benefits
for a company beyond meeting legislative requirements. It
can reduce the cost of procurement, fuel consumption and vehicle
movements with resultant savings. The overall benefit is a
message we are trying to push out to the industry as a whole
and we hope this study will help industry identify how they
could benefit from focusing on packaging reduction.”
Also addressing the conference was Dermot Breen, CEO of Tesco.
Tesco have been very progressive in their approach to reducing
their overall carbon footprint and have been longstanding
members of Repak and were recipients of the Repak Best Practice
Award in 2007. Mr Breen discussed the initiatives Tesco undertook
to reduce their overall carbon footprint - e.g. addressing
their energy consumption, transportation usage and use of
biofuels, as well as pursuing packaging reduction strategies.
Colm Munelley, the recently-appointed Packaging Prevention
Officer for Repak also discussed various initiatives that
Repak are undertaking to assist industry - the most recent
being the Packaging Prevention Course, designed by Repak in
conjunction with the EPA and RPS - which is run by FAS - and
was launched in the past month (Click
Copies of the case studies booklet are available on request
from Colum Munelley ([email protected])
and on the Repak website - Click