Ireland is expected to generate 97,000 tonnes of packaging waste this Christmas.
While 68 per cent of the public would spend more on sustainable Christmas gifts, buying eco-conscious presents is not the top priority for most, with price (42 per cent) and value (19 per cent) more important to shoppers. That’s according to research by not-for-profit environmental organisation Repak.
The research of 2,653 shoppers in Ireland, which was carried out by Repak to examine their attitudes towards sustainability at Christmas, reveals 93 per cent of shoppers receive gifts that they don’t use.
Despite this, many people still plan to buy multiple gifts, as 29 per cent will buy between 6-9 and 31 per cent between 10-15 presents. At least one in 10 (14 per cent) will spend between €500-€750 on their presents, and another 14 per cent between €400-€500.
This Christmas, Repak is encouraging shoppers to make a conscious effort to reduce waste, and recycle correctly, helping Ireland transition to a circular economy.
Ireland currently recycles 31 per cent of all plastics, but that needs to increase to 50 per cent by 2025 under EU Legislation. As well as this, research shows that 25 per cent of contamination in recycling bins comes from domestic customers.
"Learning what items can and cannot be recycled, and putting all recyclable packaging waste, including all plastics, into the recycling bin clean, dry and loose is what everyone in Ireland must do to reach the 50 per cent target," Repak said.
'An eco-conscious Christmas'
Leading a more sustainable lifestyle is top of mind for many shoppers, and it’s no different at Christmas, as 83 per cent plan to reduce their consumption.
The most common ways people plan to consume less is to shop locally (68 per cent), and as many of Repak’s 3,400 members are Irish retailers and brands "people can feel assured that when shopping with a Repak member, they are working together with the Irish public to green the world".
Repak members have helped manage recyclable packaging waste, and recycled 96,412 tonnes of plastic waste in 2021, an 8 per cent increase on 2020. Other ways shoppers plan to reduce their Christmas consumption is to reduce the volume of presents they buy (49 per cent) and buy sustainable gifts (42 per cent).