Head of Recycling, Bord na Móna
Plastic waste is having a significant impact on the environment. New technology and solutions are needed to help Ireland achieve a circular economy.
Irish people love plastic! Figures from Eurostat published earlier this year show that Ireland generates the highest volume of plastic waste per person in the EU at 54 kilos per capita, substantially more than the EU average of 33 kilos per capita.
Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency’s report on packaging waste in Ireland, published last January, paints an equally stark picture. Less than a third (28%) of Ireland’s plastic packaging waste was recycled in 2019, while the share of plastic packaging that Ireland incinerates has grown year-on-year and now stands at 69% .
Plastic is a key environmental challenge and, if we are to achieve a truly circular economy, we need to look at how we can reduce our dependence on plastic while increasing our capacity to process and reuse the material. Developing innovative waste management solutions for a cleaner future is essential for the environment.
New infrastructure in Ireland’s waste recovery centres means householders can now put both hard and soft plastics in their recycling bin.
Advancing recycling to reduce landfill
Bord na Móna Recycling is helping to deliver Ireland’s circular economy. Innovation is at the heart of the company as it seeks to reduce waste to landfill by operating some of Ireland’s most advanced recycling facilities.
It is currently working with Sabina Technology to introduce a new technology to Ireland for the recycling of used plastic such as that used to wrap silage. At its plastics recycling plant in Littleton, Tipperary, more than 24,000 tonnes of plastic film is recycled and reused in the manufacture of packaging including bags, wrapping and boxes.
Reducing Irelands carbon footprint
Ciaran Brady, Head of Bord na Móna Recycling says: “We are focused on every stage of the waste management chain—from collection and treatment to disposal and recycling—to help Ireland lower its carbon footprint and support national waste policy. We recycle over 450,000 tonnes of waste from over 135,500 residential and commercial customers every year across Leinster and North Munster.”
New infrastructure in Ireland’s waste recovery centres means householders can now put both hard and soft plastics in their recycling bin. This should help to increase our plastic recycling rates and help meet our circular economy requirements.
A soft plastic is any type of plastic that you can scrunch in your hand, such as plastic wrap on products including: plastic labels, plastic packaging pillows, bubble wrap, bread wrappers and pasta bags, plastic carrier bags, crisp packets, sweet wrappers and packaging. A rigid plastic is any type of plastic that does not lose its shape.