12 million gifts ‘equals 74k tonnes of recycling’

This Christmas, Irish households will exchange over 12 million gifts in cardboard and paper packaging that would fill 647 articulated trucks.

Repak estimate Irish households will generate about 74,000 tonnes of used packaging over the festive period — 44 kilos per household.

It expects to collect and recycle up to 60% of the used packaging.

Last year, Repak supported the recycling and recovery of over 44,667 tonnes of used household packaging, up 10% on the previous year.

Over Christmas, we will consume enough alcohol to fill over 24 Olympic size swimming pools.

We will also open five million boxes of chocolates, 48 million beer bottles and 22 million wine bottles.

Most Christmas budgets will be spent on gifts (30%), followed by food (28%), with the overall cost just short of €1,000.

Repak chief executive, Bill Collins, said its members had invested over €24m this year in supporting recovery/recycling of used packaging in Ireland.

“This Christmas alone, Repak are looking to recover over 44,000 tonnes of used packaging. This is significant progress, considering that in 2001 we were only recycling 31,000 tonnes of used household packaging in a full year,” said Mr Collins.

“Over Christmas, we would ask the public to keep recycling. They can visit Recyclemore.ie or download our Recyclemore smartphone app, which will help them find local recycling facilities, seasonal opening times and alternative bring sites.”

Repak is also urging people to manage the space in green bins more effectively by squashing any plastic containers to make more room and to crush and fold all boxes.

It is also advising people to fold rather than scrunch wrapping paper which will allow you to put more into the bin without it overflowing.

Used bottles do not need to be recycled immediately and can be held back to relieve pressure on the recycling centre.

Those with real Christmas trees can recycle them at one of the many designated recycling centres around the country.

Repak — an industry- funded not-for-profit organisation running a recycling scheme — has diverted over 6.3m tonnes of used packaging from landfill since 1998.


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