Repak Plastic Pledge Signatories achieved 72% recycling rate in 2023


Repak Plastic Pledge Report

Repak’s sixth annual Plastic Pledge Report found its Plastic Pledge Signatories achieved an average recycling rate of 72% in 2023.

The Plastic Pledge Report measures the impact of the Plastic Pledge initiative on Signatories’ behaviours and design choices, tracking their progress in reducing plastic waste and adopting sustainable packaging solutions.

In 2023, Plastic Pledge Signatories reported an average recycling rate of 72% for plastic packaging at their premises, which is above the EU Circular Economy Package recycling targets of 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030.

The submissions also showed that Signatories achieved an average recycled content of 43% across various projects, with some products attaining 100% recycled plastic content.

We call on all organisations across Ireland to embrace the exemplary practices outlined in the Plastic Pledge.

Zoe Kavanagh, CEO of Repak, commented: “In 2023, Repak’s Plastic Pledge Signatories made remarkable strides toward fulfilling the ambitious goals of our Plastic Packaging Recycling Strategy 2018-2030.

“While these advancements are commendable, the road to meeting the future recycling targets for plastic packaging remains challenging. We call on all organisations across Ireland to embrace the exemplary practices outlined in the Plastic Pledge.

“The commitment of the Signatories to recycling innovation and plastic reduction stands as a beacon of what is possible and should be used as a model for others to follow. If all organisations in Ireland adopted Repak’s Plastic Pledge, we would achieve our EU Circular Economy targets.”

151 Repak Members are Signatories of the Plastic Pledge, including Aldi, Lidl, Nestle and The Culinary Food Group.

In this year’s report, Repak highlights four “Change Makers” from its membership, these include:

  • To Prevent – Lidl moved from a hinged, rigid plastic lid to a lighter film on their pasta pots, which reduced weight by 50% and saved 16.5 tonnes. 
  • To Support – The Culinary Food Group diverted six tonnes of plastic box liners from general waste.
  • To Simplify – Aldi became the first major retailer to introduce a fully recyclable handwash pump to save 30 tonnes of packaging per year. 
  • To Increase – Nestlé redesigned its two-finger KitKat wrapper to include 80% recycled plastic.

The Repak Plastic Pledge objectives are to prioritise the prevention of plastic packaging waste, support Ireland in delivering the EU’s plastic recycling targets, reduce complexity within the plastic packaging supply chain by simplifying polymer usage and eliminating non-recyclable components by 2030, and increase the use of plastic packaging with recycled content.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform, and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, Ossian Smyth TD, said: “The plastic pledge reports show that we are committed to achieving meaningful change in the realm of plastic packaging.

“The signatures have provided us with the confidence that the challenges presented by plastic packaging can be overcome through our collective efforts.”

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