Repak Recycling Awards 2007

Re-useable packaging, compostable, flexible food packaging, zero waste to landfill, fixed packaging reduction targets and geothermal heating systems are just some of the initiatives that were commended in this year's 6th Annual Repak Awards.

The awards were presented at a gala dinner attended by Mr John Gormley TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and were attended by over 350 delegates - including Repak members, politicians, nominated local authorities and waste contractors.

The Awards were part of Repak Recycling Week which ran from 1st to 7th of October. The theme for this year's recycling week was 'Keep Recycling - let's get it sorted' and featured a series of nationwide educational and promotional campaigns.

The sponsors of the Repak 2007 Awards - Arthur Cox, Bank of Ireland, EPA, Rehab, RPS and Tetra Pak - have shown, through their sonsorship, a clear recognition of the importance of emerging environmental issues and are all enthusiastic in their association with the Awards scheme.

Commenting, Andrew Hetherington, CEO, Repak, said - "The Repak Recycling Awards are imperative in highlighting the importance of recycling and also the exemplar work in packaging reduction, which does not always get highlighted. What most people don't realise is that there are resounding benefits to recycling and prevention/reduction of packaging.

"Not only is recycling beneficial for the environment, it also greatly reduces costs and it improves the green reputation of the organisation. Ireland is constantly increasing recycling levels and, with schools also being recognised in the awards, the future looks bright for recycling in Ireland."

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. John Gormley, T.D. said - "Ireland has seen a recycling revolution over the last decade. Repak and its members deserve great credit for their achievements over the past ten years - but, the time has come for industry to build on our past successes and be more ambitious about tackling waste prevention and packaging waste litter.

"Packaging waste recycling is, in many ways, the Irish environmental success story of the past ten years and Repak has been at the heart of this story - driving the phenomenal growth in recycling" - continued the Minister. "Over that period, Repak and its members - working in partnership with my Department, local authorities, the Environmental Protection Agency and waste operators - have helped to make recycling part of our normal day-to-day life."

However, the Minister also expressed the view that householders are demanding more when it comes to packaging and he challenged industry to meet these demands. "In the UK, retailers are responding to consumers' concerns about climate change and packaging waste by adopting a range of measures under the Courtauld Commitment to support targets for the prevention and minimisation of packaging, to make packaging more recyclable and to reduce reliance on landfill" - the Minister noted.

"Tonight, I am challenging Irish industry - if it can be done in the UK, why not here? This would be good news for everyone - your customers want it, your costs will be reduced and it's good for the environment."

The Minister also challenged industry to consider options for improving the recovery and recycling rates for cans, bottles and other beverage containers - and, in so doing, reduce litter from packaging waste.

"Cans and bottles are a highly visible form of litter on our streets or in the countryside"" - said the Minister. "The National Litter Surveys for the past few years have shown packaging waste litter to be a persistent problem. I recently raised the on-the-spot fine for littering - but usually, to solve a problem, a carrot is needed as well as a stick.

"I would like industry to think about how it might improve recovery rates for cans and plastic drinks bottles - and other beverage containers - and help reduce our litter problem. This is an opportunity for industry to set targets in these areas and decide how best to achieve them."

The Minister - addressing Repak's role in advancing these objectives - commented - "Repak is the only organisation whose sole function is to improve recycling rates and, as such, I want to see Repak co-ordinating all sectors of industry in meeting the challenges that I am laying down."

This year was the first year that Repak awarded an Excellence award which was won by Tesco through 'The Tesco Strategy' - where they aim to be the first Irish retailer to reach 100% recycling of packaging and store waste by 2010 and to reduce their own label packaging by 25% by 2010.

Other winners included Alcan Packaging Dublin Ltd for the Repak Best Practice Award and H.J. Heinz Co, who received the accolade for the Best Prevention Initiative Award.

Louth County Council was honoured as Repak Local Authority of the Year and Cork County Council was awarded Local Authority Initiative of the Year for their Bandon Civic Amenity Site.

O'Reilly's Centra Foodmarket, Bunclody, Co. Wexford managed to recycle 77% of its waste in 2006 - reducing its waste management bill by 42% - which made them worthy winners of the Best Practice Award in the Independent Retail Sector. The Best Practice accolade in the Hospitality Sector was presented to Fitzgerald's Woodland House Hotel in Adare, Co. Limerick, while Lakeland Dairies won Repak Member of the Year by reducing its landfill from 717 tonnes to 28 tonnes - a massive 97% reduction.

The Small Recovery Operator of the Year Award went to Clean Ireland refuse and Recycling in County Clare, while the Large Recovery Operator of the Year honour was handed to Panda Waste Services, who are better known for their recent entry into the domestic Dublin waste market.

Repak continued to acknowledge recycling among the youth by naming Aglish NS in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford as Recycling School of the Year. St. Catherine's College Armagh won Young Recyclers of the Year (Junior section) for their project - 'Green Christmas and Recycle Light'. The Senior Young Recyclers of the Year section was won by Scoil Mhuire, Athy, Co. Kildare for their project highlighting waste management, entitled - 'Help stop excess waste and make people aware of recycling facilities in our area'.

The winners in each category received an award made from recovered/recycled materials, created by Irish designer, Ronan Halpin.

The judges included Brian Meaney of the EPA, Avine MacNally of the SFA and David Pearce, who represented Chambers Ireland. Other expert judges external to the industry included Hugh Stephens of Enterprise Ireland and Colette O'Connor, Shelflife Magazine - with Andrew Hetherington also giving his expert opinion.

The sixth Annual Repak Recycling Awards 2007, took place in true style in Dublin's Four Seasons Hotel. Mary Kennedy was the evening's MC and Risteard Cooper - of Aprés Match fame - wrapped up the evening with a well received sketch of his well-known and best-loved characters.


Awards Winners

Repak Excellence Award 2007

The winner of the Repak Excellence Award 2007 was Tesco Ireland.

Tesco Ireland has demonstrated strong leadership in the protection of the environment through its strategy to minimise its carbon footprint and address crucial environmental concerns through recycling, packaging reduction and sustainable energy use.

L-R: Minister John Gormley; Emer Waring, Tony Keohane, Tesco Ireland; Andrew Hetherington, CEO Repak
The Tesco strategy, launched in 2007, sets a target of being the first Irish retailer to reach 100% recycling of packaging and store waste by 2010. The move will see more than 24,000 tonnes of waste recycled each year. Compostable packaging will be available on a number of organic fresh products.

Secondary cardboard and plastic packaging will be replaced by re-usable green crates. Tesco already uses 250,000 re-usable trays per week, which save the equivalent of 20 million cardboards every year.
Packaging on own-label brand products will be reduced by 25% by the target date.

In-store energy consumption will be reduced by 50% and Energy Champions will be appointed to all stores, while state-of-the art automated recycling machines will be introduced to the store network. Tesco are showing that major retailers can care both for the environment and for consumers' needs in a highly practical way and, as such, are the first winners of the Repak Excellence Award.

Repak Member of the Year 2007
Sponsored by Arthur Cox

The finalists were - Britvic Ireland; Lakeland Dairies Co-Operative Society; Symantec Ltd.

The winner of the Repak Member of the Year 2007 was Lakeland Dairies Co-Operative Society.

Now Ireland's second-largest dairy processing co-operative, Lakeland Dairies is a market-led, innovation-focused manufacturer of superior quality dairy-derived products for clients throughout the world.

Lakeland is an exemplary member of Repak, insofar as they are meticulous in their attention to the detailed requirements of membership.

On the packaging front, they have developed cutting-edge technology in the manner in which they go about the specifying and procurement of packaging materials. Every facet of the packaging function is scrutinised to assess its potential for prevention, minimisation and, ultimately, cost savings.

Recycling of packaging waste at the Killeshandra headquarters - and at their other sites - had been developed to a fine art and, in the five-year period, 2001-2006, waste to landfill has been reduced from 717 tonnes to 28 tonnes - a 25-fold reduction.

L-R: Derek O'Connor, Tom Brady, Lakelands; Minister John Gormley, Deborah Spence, Arthur Cox; Rory Farrell, Pauric Rudden, Pauric Smith, Lakelands; Andrew Hetherington, CEO Repak

Unbelievably, no waste has been sent to landfill, as yet, in this calendar year.


Repak Best Packaging Waste Prevention Initiative 2007 Sponsored by EPA

The finalists were - Georgia Pacific Ltd; H. J. Heinz Co. Ltd; Jacob Fruitfield Food Group.

The winner of the Repak Best Packaging Waste Prevention Initiative 2007 was H. J. Heinz Co. Ltd.

Heinz has been operating in Ireland since 1993 and now employs more than 400 staff with annual sales of £55 million from a range of prepared frozen meals.

L-R: Gerry Byrne, EPA; Minister John Gormley, Stuart Lawson, Valerie Kirk, Mohammod Hamonda, HJ Heinz; Andrew Hetherington, CEO Repak
Heinz are no strangers to the Repak awards and won the Repak Best Member of the Year Award in 2003, having been short-listed on two other occasions.

In 2006, Heinz launched three Packaging Prevention Initiatives. Weights of plastic trays were reduced, corrugate cases were replaced with shrinkwrap and plastic drums were replaced with returnable containers.

This resulted in savings of 67 tonnes of plastic and 42 tonnes of cardboard. It is clear that Heinz understands the importance of Packaging Prevention and is committed to implementing suitable initiatives, wherever possible.


Repak Best Practice Award 2007 - Large Company
Sponsored by EPA

The finalists were - Alcan Packaging Dublin; Lakeland Dairies Co-Operative Society; McDonalds Restaurants Ireland.

The winner of the Repak Best Practice Award 2007 - Large Company was Alcan Packaging Dublin.

Alcan Packaging Dublin, specialists in the printing of food flexible packaging, has operated in Finglas for over 50 years and have achieved international standards such as ISO 14001, ISO 18001 and ISO 9001.

Alcan have dramatically reduced the amount of packaging waste arising on-site, resulting in a fivefold decrease in plastic sent to landfill.
Through a continuous and measured process, Alcan have examined all aspects of their production to ensure that no more packaging than necessary is used and that all packaging that can be recovered, is segregated and sent for recycling.

However, it is the development of a compostable flexible plastic food packaging for the breakfast cereal market, that marked Alcan Packaging Dublin as leaders in best practice in packaging waste management.

L-R: Minister John Gormley; Gerry Byrne, EPA; Niamh Cassidy, Allan Radford, Alcan; Andrew Hetherington, CEO Repak

Repak Member of the Year in 2005, Alcan continue to show commitment to the environment and their locality and are worthy recipients of this year's Repak best practice award.


Repak Best Practice Award 2007 - Independent Retail Sector

The finalists were - Garveys SuperValu, Cobh, Co. Cork; Murphy's Centra, Waterford City; O'Reilly's Centra, Bunclody, Co. Wexford.

The winner of the Repak Best Practice Award 2007 - Independent Retail Sector was O'Reilly's Centra, Bunclody, Co. Wexford.

Joe O'Reilly's relatively small Centra Supermarket in the picturesque Co. Wexford town of Bunclody is a real eye-opener in terms of attention to detail when it comes to waste management.

L-R: Minister John Gormley; Joe Guinan, Joe O'Reilly, O'Reilly's Centra; Andrew Hetherington, CEO of Repak
Joe's secret to success lies in his waste co-ordinator - Joe Guinan - who has raised the task of packaging prevention, minimisation and recycling almost to an art form. A well-trained staff of 15 pursues a programme of zero-tolerance towards wastes that arise in the business.

This first-time entrant has achieved an extremely high recycling rate of 77% in 2006 - and, in doing so, reduced the waste management bill by 42%.
This is one retailer who has made the connection between good waste management practices and cost avoidance in an extremely tight margin business.


Repak Best Practice Award 2007 - Hospitality Sector
Sponsored by Rehab

The finalists were - Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale, Co. Cork; Maryborough House Hotel, Douglas, Co. Cork; Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, Co. Limerick.

The winner of the Repak Best Practice Award 2007 - Hospitality Sector was Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, Co. Limerick.

Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel is busy family-run hotel in Adare, Co.Limerick. The Hotel has 92 bedrooms, a restaurant, bar-bistro, extensive banqueting facilities and a health and leisure spa.

The hotel provides the feeling of a 'home away from home' - with a relaxed ambience and the warm welcome of the staff and the Fitzgerald Family.

The Hotel has an excellent waste management structure in place that involves all the staff and prides itself in going beyond its statutory obligations. This comprehensive approach has seen Fitzgerald's Woodland Hotel build on previous success, when it was a finalist in this sector.

They have introduced a range of impressive waste prevention initiatives - including receiving food deliveries in bulk, switching to refillable containers and many examples of clever re-use.

L-R: Minister John Gormley; Brid Duggan, Woodlands; Bob Rowatt, Rehab; Elaine Fitzgerald-Keane, Woodlands; Andrew Hetherington, CEO of Repak


Repak Local Authority of the Year 2007
Sponsored by Rehab

The finalists were - Fingal County Council; Leitrim County Council; Louth County Council.

The winnner of the Repak Local Authority of the Year 2007 was Louth County Council.

L-R: Mary Murtagh, Louth Co Co; Minister John Gormley, Gerry Duffy, Louth Co Co; Angeal Kearns, Rehab; Andrew Hetherington, CEO Repak

Louth were previous finalists in this category and this year, again, scored highly in all categories.

In 2006, they opened their second Civic Amenity Site. This ensures that the two main centres of population - Drogheda and Dundalk - both have this service.

Extensive involvement with various community groups has enabled the Environment Department to run many successful initiatives.

Louth were very active in enforcement of the packaging regulations in 2006 and this led to successful prosecutions.


Repak Local Authority Initiative of the Year 2007
Sponsored by RPS Group

The finalists were - Cork County Council - Bandon CA site; Fingal County Council - Estuary Recycling Centre; Louth County Council - Drogheda Recycling Centre.

The winner of the Repak Local Authority Initiative of the Year 2007 was Cork County Council - Bandon CA site.

Bandon Civic Amenity Facility commenced accepting recyclable materials in December 2005.

The facility has proved very popular - in the first year, almost 80,000 people used the facility, with the average usage of the facility being over 6000 per month.

Bandon has a catchment area of 12,000 Householders. The popularity of the site is due to the range of material accepted - including difficult material such as Polystyrene Packaging and Aerosol Cans. The facility has a number of unique features - both at construction and operation phases.

A geo-thermal heating system has been installed in the site office. The site has a spacious layout and the local authority bales materials on-site.

L-R: Kenneth Kingston, Cork Co Co; Minister John Gormley; Enda Kiernan, Cork Co Co; PJ Rudden, RPS; Louis Duffy, Cork Co Co; Andrew Hetherington, CEO Repak

This reduces transport costs and makes the material more attractive to processors. Green waste is also accepted and composted on site.


Repak Recovery Operator of the Year 2007
- Large Company

Sponsored by Bank of Ireland

The finalists were - Greenstar Ltd; Greyhound Recycling; Mr. Binman Ltd; Panda Waste Services.

The winnner of the Repak Recovery Operator of the Year 2007 - Large Company was Panda Waste Services.

Established in 1973, Panda Waste has grown to become one of Ireland's most innovative recycling companies.

L-R: Eamon Waters, Panda; Minister John Gormley, Brian McCabe, Panda; Brendan Byrne, Bank of Ireland; Andrew Hetherington, CEO Repak
The purchase of the company by Eamon Waters in 1990 brought about great change - growing from a 2-truck operation with no premises, to a company with 3 facilities and a €50 million turnover.

In 2006, Panda Waste entered the domestic sector in Dublin. Their aim is to be a leader in recycling - hence, their massive efforts in educating a broad customer-base on the economic and environmental value of recycling.

Proof of their innovation has been the improved green bin collection, into which customers can place not only cardboard and paper - but also plastics and glass.

In 2007, Smurfit's Recycling, Ballymount, Dublin was acquired to facilitate the company's planned expansion into the recovery of dry recyclables and packaging.


Repak Recovery Operator Of the Year 2007
- Small/Medium Company

Sponsored by Tetra Pak

The finalists were - Clean Ireland Recycling; Greenguard Recycling Ltd; Leinster Environmentals; McElvaney's Waste and Recycling.

the winner of the Repak Recovery Operator Of the Year 2007 - Small/Medium Company was Clean Ireland Recycling.

Clean Ireland Refuse and Recycling is based near Kilrush in County Clare. The company was founded in 1990 by brothers Micheal and John O'Donoghue.

The company collects both commercial and domestic waste. The installation of a Material Recovery Facility has enabled the company to provide a Dry Recyclable collection to its 25,000 domestic customers.

In addition, the company has contracts with Local authorities to service both Bring Banks and Civic Amenity Sites. A recently-commissioned Wood Chipper has expanded the capacity to handle commercial waste.

L-R: Minister John Gormley; Paddy Hedigan, Michael O'Donoghue, Clean Ireland, Andrew Hetherington, CEO Repak


Repak Recycling School of the Year 2007
(in association with An Taisce)

The finalists were - Aglish National School; Convent Primary School; Corrandulla National School;

The winner of the Repak Recycling School of the Year 2007 (in association with An Taisce) was Aglish National School.

Aglish NS is 4-teacher school with approximately 60 students. Principal Ronan Culloo and the rest of the school have been awarded the Green Flag on an impressive 3 occasions and are currently working to receive their fourth during the current school year.

L-R: Minister John Gormley; Gerldine Keating, Aglish NS; Patricia Oliver, An Taisce; Ronan Culloo, Aglish NS; Andrew Hetherington CEO Repak

All in the school are avid recyclers, who also give bags of shredded paper to local greyhound owners for bedding - and any tattered towels and old clothes are given to local mechanics and agricultural contractors for oiling machines and engines.

All of the artwork in the school is created from recycled materials. The schools daily 'Wash and Squash' campaign means each individual is responsible for his/her own recycling.

All the while, the Green Schools committee is busily monitoring all activities - ensuring good practices are upheld.


Repak Young Recyclers of the Year - Junior
(in association with ECO UNESCO)

The winner of the Repak Young Recyclers of the Year - Junior (in association with ECO UNESCO) was St. Catherines College, Armagh.

This group of young people brainstormed what environmental issues were of concern to them and chose waste as their project.

The group used internet and contacted local recycling centres for information. They carried out a questionnaire and organised a guest speaker to deliver a speech on the topic after Easter.

As part of their actions, the group organised posters, competitions and built a recycled Christmas Tree with Christmas lights made from recycled materials. They also used their school website to display information, set up displays in their school and made e-cards.

During a highly-successful open night at their school, they raised awareness about reducing, reusing and recycling.

L-R: Minister John Gormley; Miriam Moone, St Catherines; Elaine Nevin, Eco Unesco; Andrew Hetherington CEO Repak


Repak Young Recyclers of the Year - Senior
(in association with ECO UNESCO)

The winner of the Repak Young Recyclers of the Year - Senior (in association with ECO UNESCO) was Scoil Mhuire, Athy, Co. Kildare.

As part of this year's Youth Eco Awards, Scoil Mhuire chose waste management, as they believed it to be a growing concern for the planet.

L-R: Elizabeth O'Driscoll, Scoil Mhuire; Minister John Gormley; Caroline Concannon, Scoil Mhuire; Liz Carroll, Eco Unesco; Andrew Hetherington, CEO Repak

They carried out research on the topic on the internet, through books and through programmes such as Eco Eye. They also paid a visit to their local civic amenity centre, where they received more information on waste issues.

The group then planned their actions and designed an awareness programme through a poster campaign in their school, news articles in the local press and by visiting the local primary school.

As a result of their campaign, the group has seen a reduction in paper wastage in their school and have also carried on the campaign in their homes.

Minister Gormley congratulated the awards winners, saying - "The Repak Awards honour the most progressive, forward-thinking measures in relation to packaging waste prevention, minimisation and recycling being taken by producers, local authorities and waste operators around the country. I am grateful to everyone who took part for their efforts in setting the standards for the rest of us. It's very gratifying to see real action on the environment and to see it being acknowledged publicly in such a high-profile manner."



Repak is a not-for-profit members-based packaging compliance scheme - currently Ireland's only producer responsibility scheme - which was established under a voluntary agreement between industry and the Department of the Environment and Local Government in 1997.

It was created as industry's response to the obligations placed on Ireland by the EU directive on Packaging Waste (94/62/EC) and is the only government-approved compliance scheme under the Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations 1997.

Repak succeeded in reaching - and exceeding - Ireland's National Recycling Target of 25% of packaging waste in 2001 and 50% in 2005 - as set by the EU directive.

Repak runs a variety of educational initiatives - such as the Repak Recycling Week in October, the Repak Green Christmas and the Repak National Conference. It is also a sponsor of An Taisce's National Spring Clean campaign, the Tidy Towns Competition and the schools-based Repak Cash for Cans programme.

Repak membership fees are used to subsidise the collection of used packaging in Ireland, through the network of over 2,250 bring banks, over 90 recycling centres and household kerbside collection schemes - which reach in excess 937,000 Irish households.



Home | Daily News | News Archive | Features | Product Info | Training | Recruitment | Tenders | Links | Calendar

Copyright ©