Recycling is converting waste into reusable material. Ireland is ahead of the EU targets by 13% as our overall recycling rate is 68% for all materials. Ireland is one of the leading performers in Europe, according to Repak, as we currently recycle 33% of all plastics. This figure is higher than most EU countries but still needs to rise to 50% in 2025 and 55% by 2030 to meet EU targets.
The breakdown of recycling rates by materials are as follows:
- Glass at 86% (EU target: 60%)
- Metals at 79% (EU target: 50%)
- Paper at 78% (EU target: 60%)
- Wood at 95% (EU target: 15%)
- Plastic at 33% (EU target: 22.5%) (Figures from The Journal).
No one is perfect, all we can do is try our best to do our part to help the bigger picture of working towards a sustainable future. Small steps make a big difference to the environment.
If you were ever in doubt about how to recycle our products, fret no more. We wanted to give you a step-by-step guide on how to recycle our packaging.
How to Recycle Our Oil Bottles
Step 1. The first step is to remove the label. We use semi-permanent labels, so they are easy to remove and to peel off. This label can be disposed in the general waste bin.
Unfortunately, our labels are not suitable for recycling. The ink, laminate finish and adhesive, are all contaminants in the recycling process. Recyclable labels are challenging to find due to the recycling capabilities of labels & how they are so varied in different counties and regions (may be recyclable in one area, but not the other). Hopefully someday we can improve this area of the process.
Step 2. Wash out the bottle with warm water to remove excess oil/product remaining in the bottle. Ensure the bottle is completely clean and dry.
Step 3. Remove the pipette from the bottle as shown in image 2. Take apart the pipette by removing the glass pipette, and removing the rubber from the plastic, as shown in image 3.
The rubber & plastic part of the pipette can be disposed in your recycling bin at home.
The glass bottle and pipette can be recycled in your glass recycling bin. If you do not have one of these, it can be taken to your local recycling centre. Please ensure all components of the product are cleaned and dried before recycling.
How to Recycle Our Capsule/Powder Tubs
Step 1. Our capsule tubs are easy to recycle. Like the oil bottle, remove the semi-permanent label, and dispose of this in the general waste bin.
Step 2. Once the label is removed, place the tub and lid (loosely) into the general recycling bin at home.
Note: If you have a powder tub or pet powder tub, it is the same process, but additionally, dispose of the plastic scoop in the general recycling bin. Please ensure the scoop has been washed and dried.
How to Recycle Our Skincare Products
Our skincare boxes have the mobius loop displayed (white loop shown in image 4). This means that our boxes are capable of being recycled.
Step 1. Our skincare products – body oil, lip balm and muscle balm – require the batch no. label at the bottom to be removed. Dispose of this in the recycling bin.
Step 2. Clean out the empty containers with warm water, removing any excess product.
For the body oil bottle, remove the stopper from the top to wash thoroughly inside.
Body Oil bottle with the stopper removed to clean out container
Step 3. Once the containers and lids have been cleaned and dried, place them loosely into the recycling bin at home.
What Else Can We Do?
Recycling is better than a landfill, but the main issue is the over-production of waste in the first place. We generate too much waste which needs to be addressed. The majority of our recycling is sent outside Ireland to be bought and sold in an open market.
In Ireland, we recycle a small amount of plastic, then there is energy recovery. Energy recovery happens in two forms. The first involves non-recyclable waste being shredded, baled up and sent to a cement kiln in Ireland to be burned. This replaces fossil fuels in the cement-making process. The second form of energy recovery involves non-recyclable material being incinerated & turned into refuse-derived fuel (RDF), which is used to generate electricity or heat. This way, we are getting something useful or back for the waste we cannot recycle.
Recycling has its own environmental impact. Unfortunately, so many of us are getting it wrong by not recycling correctly, and we are ruining many opportunities to recycle waste (one item can ruin an entire bag of recycling). Need some guidance? Look at our useful links section below to learn more.
But let’s look at other ways we can do our part in helping the environment:
- Why not join the Repak Green Team and sign up to receive updates on recycling tips & news: https://repak.ie/team-green/join/
- Join the Plastic Pledge: https://repak.ie/members/plastic-pledge#sign-up
- Donate to plant a tree or plant a tree yourself!
- Get involved in Tidy Towns
- Get your school involved in the Green Schools programme
- Get involved in beach clean-ups
- Become a member of bird-watch Ireland https://birdwatchireland.ie/get-involved/
Recycling Symbols Explained
How to Recycle Everyday Materials
Environmental Protection Agency
VOICE: urging greener choices now!
Crann, Trees for Ireland