Ireland is expected to generate 95,000 tonnes of packaging waste this Christmas

Since September, all plastics can go into the recycling bin, including bubble wrap

New research from Repak reveals shopper behaviour over the festive season



14 December 2021

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We used to dream of a white Christmas, but now a green Christmas dominates our thoughts as three quarters (75%) of shoppers are planning to be more eco-conscious over the festive period. That’s according to new research* by leading environmental organisation, Repak.

The November 2021 survey of 1,397 people in Ireland, examines how we will spend this Christmas and our attitudes towards recycling and shopping over the festive season. The research reveals that although 20% of people are kicking off the festive celebrations early this year, 81% plan to stay at home this Christmas with family and at least one in ten (13%) have made a conscious decision not to socialise with friends in advance of Christmas Day. Gift giving remains popular, as 25% will buy between 10-15 gifts this Christmas and 49% will spend €300 or less, a 16% increase compared to 2020**.

In Ireland, we are expected to generate 95,000 tonnes of packaging waste this Christmas. To ensure Ireland reaches its future recycling targets under the EU’s Circular Economy Package, Repak says it’s important that all consumers understand how to manage their packaging waste over the holiday period.

Repak is encouraging everyone to join the Repak Team Green initiative, and commit to learning how to reduce, reuse and recycle more and better. Since September, all plastics can go into the recycling bin, so common items such as bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, bread wrappers, and chocolate and biscuit trays can all be placed in the recycling bin this ChristmasTo join Repak Team Green, visit

Merry Clickmas

All retailers are open in the lead up to Christmas, but the effects of the pandemic lockdowns have impacted how people have chosen to shop for presents again this year. Over half (54%) are doing most of their Christmas shopping online, with 69% citing the ability to avoid busy, crowded stores as the reason for doing so.

The packaging waste generated from online sales will create a heavy influx of materials for waste operators to process during Christmas, but for online shoppers, over half  (57%) of those polled don’t know if the retailers they purchase from have any sustainability programmes in place.

Shopping Local

While some online retailers leave their packaging waste on the Irish market without contributing to the cost of recycling, over 3,500 Repak members meet their obligations to recycle the packaging they place on the Irish market and also help fund household recycling bins, bottle banks and civic amenities.

65% of people will shop local this Christmas, and by shopping with a Repak member, consumers can feel assured they are purchasing from retailers who are helping to protect the environment in addition to supporting local businesses. To find out more about Repak Members, visit here.

*(Source: According to a research study of 1,397 adults in Ireland conducted by Repak in November 2021)

**(Source: According to a research study of 2,600 adults in Ireland conducted by Repak in November 2020)



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