Repak celebrates 20 years of success
Repak, the non-profit recycling scheme with thousands of members across Ireland, is celebrating 20 years in operation. As part of the occasion, the organisation has been looking back on its successes in that time, while also projecting Ireland's recycling future and sustainable potential.
14 September 2017 | 0
Repak has marked the 20th anniversary since it was first established by reflecting on the work done in that time, and exploring Ireland’s options and obligations in the area of recycling and sustainability in the coming years and decades.
Since it was first established in 1997 to help companies meet EU and Irish government targets for recycling, Repak has grown to more than 2,200 members – any company with a turnover of €1m per year and places more than 10 tonnes of packaging into the Irish recycling system.
In those 20 years, Repak has diverted more than 10 million tons of packaging recycling and helped reduce the number of landfills from 126 to just 4. Ireland is currently achieving a recycling and recovery rate of 91%, the 7th-best rate in the EU.
Despite these highly impressive numbers, the challenge facing Ireland and the world is set to increase sharply in the coming years, and those strong rates of recycling will need to improve even further. At an event in Dublin’s Science Gallery to mark the anniversary, Repak CEO Seamus Clancy warned that at its current rate of growth, Ireland’s population will be 5,672,000 by 2037; at this rate, compared to the rate of expansion of recycling infrastructure, Repak and Ireland as a whole will eventually not be able to keep up with demand.
Despite this issue, Clancy is optimistic about where Ireland is headed overall. “Repak intends to continue to educate businesses and the public on way to recycle household and commerical waste through initiatives including ‘Prevent & Save’, ‘Repak with Schools’ and more,” Clancy said.