Irish companies are set to reduce plastic packaging waste by nearly 52% this year, according to environmental and recycling compliance group Repak.
From a survey of member firms, Repak said companies will reduce plastic packaging waste by 16,100 tonnes this year and use 21,000 tonnes of recycled plastic in production.
The reduction figure is an increase from the 10,600 tonnes reduced last year and represents both an improvement in behaviour and an increase in the number of Repak members.
The survey is part of Repak’s second progress report of its 'Plastic Pledge' initiative, which highlights the approach that 115 of Ireland’s business leaders are taking to remove avoidable plastics, with an emphasis on single-use plastics, from their business premises and from sale.
The programme also monitors and quantifies the efforts to reduce plastic as part of Ireland’s efforts to meet obligations under the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, which calls for 50% of all plastics to be recycled by 2025.
Businesses who signed the pledge reduced their plastic usage by an average of 14.8% in 2019, Repak said.
"The significant drive to increase the recyclability of plastic packaging and reduce material complexity by the ‘Plastic Pledge’ members has resulted in an increased percentage of recyclable plastic packaging placed on the Irish market with greater opportunities for recycling," said Repak CEO Séamus Clancy.