Soft plastic can now be included along with “rigid” plastic in Irish household recycling bins as long as it is clean, dry and loose. This development comes as a result of the effort to fulfil commitments in relation to plastic packaging recycling, as outlined in the government’s waste action plan for a circular economy.
Minister of State with special responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD said: “This is a significant and very positive development in Irish recycling and waste management. Soft plastics have been added to the household recycling list due to advancements in technology at Irish recycling facilities.
“This is welcome news as we work to reach EU recycling targets. Currently in Ireland we recycle less than a third of all plastic packaging waste. We have committed to increasing our plastic packaging recycling figure to 50 per cent by 2025 and 55 per cent by 2030.”
Pauline McDonogh, spokesperson for MyWaste,Ireland’s official website for guidance on managing waste, said that the addition of soft plastic to the Irish household recycling bin makes waste segregation much more straightforward for the householder.
“ Advancements have been made to the technology that segregates the different material types in recycling facilities. The recyclable plastic is sent to specialised, polymer-specific recycling facilities. If it cannot currently be recycled, it will be sent as solid recovered fuel (SRF) to replace fossil fuels at cement kilns.”
Adding her support to the announcement, Repak Team Green Ambassador Roz Purcell said: “The Irish citizen can play a key role in helping Ireland increase our plastic packaging waste recycling rate and continue our journey to becoming a more sustainable society. We can make a big difference by simply ensuring that we place the plastic packaging waste that we discard, clean, dry and loose, into our household recycling bin.”
For a detailed list of the materials that are now accepted in the household recycling bin see mywaste.ie.