Recycling turns our waste materials into new useful products or back into the same thing again - glass bottles & jars are a great example as they are infinitely recyclable. This reduces the use of finite raw materials, saves energy and helps control air, water and land pollution.
Recycling is a group effort. We all have our part to play to not only recycle as much waste as possible but to also make sure our recycling is properly sorted. Recycling that includes non-recyclable items or is contaminated with food waste can end up in landfill.
It only takes a few minutes to rinse out plastic, glass and tin containers and sort our cardboard, this is a simple climate action we can all take.
Currently Ireland recycles approximately 30% of all plastics in use in the country. Recycling targets for packaging are very challenging, by 2025 the target set by the EU is to recycle 50% of all plastic and by 2030 55%. All of us play a part in helping Ireland achieve the EU and national targets. You can play your part by ensuring all soft plastic is now placed in the recycling bin clean, dry and loose.
In Ireland we collect all recyclables in the same bin and the sorting of all these materials take place at a recycling facility.
Irish recycling plants are upgrading their mechanised sorting facilities to allow for more sorting of plastic. Until 2020 Irish recycling facilities could only process rigid plastics. Most plastics collected in Ireland are exported for recycling. Over the past year a number of new markets specifically handling soft plastics have emerged and Irish plastic can now be exported to these facilities for recycling. If it cannot currently be recycled it will be sent as Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) to replace fossil fuels at cement kilns.
Don't worry you're not alone, there are so many different instructions on what goes where and products telling us that they are "eco" or "green" and can be recycled or composted so we are here to help you navigate to the correct bin. Check here for more info