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11th Sep 2021

Soft plastic packaging can now be put into Irish recycling bins

Major changes afoot in the recycling game.

Soft plastic items are now acceptable to place into Irish household recycling bins, provided that the material is clean, dry and loose.

All permitted waste collection companies will now accept the items so long as they meet the above criteria.

Soft plastic may be placed alongside “rigid” plastic as normal. The move comes due to advancements in technology at recycling facilities across the country that successfully segregates the different material types.

Recyclable plastic is sent to specialised, polymer-specific facilities. If the material cannot currently be recycled, it will be sent as solid recovered fuel (SRF) to replace fossil fuels at cement kilns.

Minister of State with special responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy Ossian Smyth hailed the change as “welcome news” as Ireland works to meet European Union recycling targets.

“This is a significant and very positive development in Irish recycling and waste management,” said Smyth.

“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.”

For a full breakdown of what can and cannot go into your recycling bin, click here.