In 2021, Ireland generated 1.2 million tonnes (Mt) of packaging waste, an increase of 11% on 2020 and a 24% increase on the base year of 2016.
The general trend in packaging waste generation in Ireland correlates with economic indicators such as Gross National Income (GNI), both of which showed an upward trend between 2013 and 2019 before GNI dipped in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and recovered in 2021. The data highlights that Ireland has not yet decoupled economic activity and waste generation.
Ireland has been in compliance with packaging recycling and recovery targets since their introduction in 2011. However, much higher EU recycling targets will apply from 2025 and 2030, which will require improvements in Ireland’s level of packaging recycling in the years ahead.
Ireland’s national waste statistics can be found here.
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