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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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,
Unbelievably, no waste has been sent to landfill, as yet, in this
Repak Best Packaging
Waste Prevention Initiative 2007 Sponsored
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
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.
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
L-R: Minister John Gormley; Gerry Byrne, EPA;
Niamh Cassidy, Allan Radford, Alcan; Andrew Hetherington,
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
L-R: Minister John Gormley; Paddy Hedigan,
Michael O'Donoghue, Clean Ireland, Andrew Hetherington, CEO
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
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.
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,
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
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.
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
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
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
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.