2004 Repak Results

Highlights summary


Repak, the industry funded recycling scheme, has revealed initial packaging recycling figures for 2004.

Approximately 479,000 tonnes was recycled last year - representing 47% of all used packaging on the market and a 16% increase on 2003. Repak also exceeded the 15% minimum recycling target for 2005 in all material types. The industry body is delighted with its performance in 2004, which shows it has driven recycling rates from 15% in 1998, to in excess of 47% in 2004.

Summary highlights 2004

  • Repak funded the recovery and recycling of 479,000 tonnes in 2004. This figure represents c.47%† of all packaging placed on the Irish market and a 16% increase on 2003.
  • €17.5 million in Repak membership income was collected to meet Ireland’s packaging recovery targets in 2004.
  • New membership income amounted to €2.14 million.
  • Repak spent €12.42 million in direct recycling supports to local authorities and recovery operators.
  • Plastic bottle recycling increased by 134% over 2003, to a total of 4,897 tonnes (or nearly 110 million bottles). This represented circa 14% of all plastic bottles placed on the market.
  • Repak funded the recycling of 1,650 tonnes of aluminium - or circa 100 million aluminium cans.
  • Repak - in partnership with the DoEHLG - helped fund the placement of 294 new bring bank sites in 2004, bringing the total number of new sites under this programme to 725 since October 2003. There are now in excess of 2,000 bring sites in the country.
  • Repak funded kerbside dry recycling collections, reaching in excess of 450,000 households in 2004.
  • Repak commissioned a report - and subsequently lobbied government - highlighting the potential negative impact of additional packaging levies beyond fees charged by Repak.

    † Source: EPA 2003 Database adjusted for contamination, and projected market growth



Membership Recruitment:1998 - 2004

Repak membership increased to 1,923 in 2004 - representing a net increase of 13% over 2003.

A total of 290 new members were welcomed into the scheme in 2004 and new member revenue amounted to €2.14 million. The new intake included 90 regular members and over 200 scheduled members from the broadly based retail/consumer services sector and the hospitality sector.


Tonnes Recovered/Recycled

In 2004, Repak funded the recovery/recycling of 479,000 tonnes of packaging - an increase of 16% on the previous year. This represents approximately 47%† of all packaging placed on the Irish market - a significant increase from the 15% recovered / recycled in 1998.
† Source: EPA 2003 Database adjusted for contamination, and projected market growth


Material Recovered/Recycled 2004


In line with Repak's strategy of targeting the heavier, cost-effective material types, 82% of the materials recovered/recycled comprised of paper/cardboard, wood and glass. Plastic and metals accounted for a further 18% of materials recovered.


Material Recovery Rates 2004

In 2004, Repak funded the recovery and recycling of 39,000 tonnes of plastic packaging - a 15% increase on the previous year. This represents approximately 21% of all used plastic packaging. This was mainly shrinkwrap plastic, but, it can also be reported that plastic bottle recycling grew by 134% in 2004 to 4,900 tonnes - or circa 110 million bottles.

In 2004, Repak subsidised the recovery and recycling of 201,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard - i.e. 41% of all paper and board packaging placed on the market. This was an increase of 14% over 2003. In 2004, paper and board accounted for 42% of the total weight of materials collected through Repak.

88,000 tonnes of glass was recycled/recovered by Repak in 2004. This is a significant increase of c. 17% on tonnes collected in 2003 and represents approximately 63% of all glass placed on the Irish market. Glass accounted for 18% of the total weight of materials collected by Repak in 2004.

In 2004, Repak recovered/recycled a total of 46,000 tonnes of metal. This was made up of 44,000 tonnes of steel and 1,800 tonnes of aluminium and represented approximately 49% of all metals placed on the market - with both materials accounting for approximately 10% of the total weight of materials collected by Repak in 2004.

The market for recycled wood continues to be very strong, with over 106,000 tonnes recovered in 2004. This was an increase of 21% over 2003 and represented approximately 95% of all wood/other materials placed on the Irish market.


Operating Surplus/Deficit by Year


Income generated from Repak recycling fees amounted to €17.5m for the year ending 31st December 2004 - including €1.65m of non-recurring income.This represented a 16% increase over 2003 revenues of €15.1m.

Despite supporting increased recycling activity, Repak managed to reduce total expenditure - from approximately €20.5m in 2003 to €16.5m in 2004 - and reverse previous operating deficits. This was achieved through careful management of direct recycling costs and overhead expenditure. Such cuts were necessary to bring Repak’s expenditure into line with income.


Operating Expenditure 2004

Total direct recycling costs represented 76% of total expenditure in 2004 - compared to 70% in 2002 and 67% in 2001. Total overheads were reduced by 11% - from €4.5 million to €4.03 million in 2004.


Direct Recycling Expenditure


While supporting increasing tonnages, it was necessary to adjust both the commercial and domestic subsidy levels in order to address previous operating deficits. Total payments to local authorities and recovery operators in 2004 were reduced to €12.4 million - compared to €15.9 million in the previous year - a decrease of 22% in direct recycling expenditure.Over the past 5 years, Repak has invested approximately €51.4m in direct recycling supports.


Total Expenditure Split

Domestic supported tonnes accounted for 19% of total recovery activity and 56% of total expenditure. This demonstrates the higher cost of domestically sourced packaging recycling.

Domestic sourced tonnes will form a greater element of the total recycling target in future years and will impact on the future cost base.


Communication/Educational Activities 2004

Repak communication/educational activities in 2004 focused on the following major areas:

  • members and other stakeholders
  • recruitment
  • consumer recycling campaigns - and
  • anti-litter campaigns.

Repak organised various meetings and seminars for members and stakeholders throughout 2004. The fourth annual Repak Recycling Awards were presented to promote and recognise excellence in recycling amongst all stakeholders.

Consumer education activities included -

  • Repak Cash for Cans
  • the Repak Easter Appeal
  • Repak National Recycling Week in October - and
  • the Repak Green Christmas campaign.

All these activities are designed to encourage consumers to segregate and recycle their packaging.

Repak also continued its sponsorship of two major national anti-litter campaigns in 2004 -

  • An Taisce National Spring Clean - and
  • the National Tidy Towns awards.



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