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25/09/2021

Soft plastic can now be placed in Irish household recycling bins

All  plastic can now be recycled in your household bin

Ossian Smyth TD and Repak Team Green Ambassador Roz Purcell at the announcement. Photo: Brian Arthur.

Homeowners will now be able to put all their plastic waste in their recycling bins in a much simplified system, it has been announced. 

All plastic packaging waste - including soft plastic - can now be placed in Irish household recycling bins as long as it is clean, dry and loose.

Making the announcement, Minister of State with special responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD said soft plastic can be placed in the household recycling bin along with “rigid” plastic. 

“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% by 2025 and 55% by 2030. Today’s announcement is a significant step towards achieving these targets,” added Minister Smyth.

Monday's development is also part 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.  

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 straight forward for the householder.

“Householders can now place all plastic packaging waste, including soft plastic, into the recycling bin once it is clean, dry and loose. 

"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.” 

All permitted waste collection companies are now accepting soft plastic packaging waste that is placed clean, dry and loose into the recycling bin.

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