CIRCULAR PACKAGING TWG
About the thematic area – why it’s important to supporting Ireland’s transition to circularity?
Packaging is a key priority of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan and the Irish Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy, which identifies packaging as one of the waste streams where the Extended Producer Responsibility model is to be used. In2018, packaging waste generated in the EU was estimated at 174 kg per inhabitant (varying from 67.8 kg per inhabitant in Croatia and 227.5 kg per inhabitant in Germany) (Eurostat, 2020). Meanwhile, Irish inhabitants are amongst the top generators of packaging waste in Europe: Ireland produced 1,038,199 tonnes of packaging waste across all materials in 2018,and the average recycling rates have decreased since 2013.
Circular packaging aims to apply circular economy principles to packaging and packaging materials. However, despite an increased commitment to circular economy principles, there
remains uncertainty about how these principles are to be implemented in Ireland, and how the country can move away from the current reliance on diversion and export of waste, and instead prioritise waste reduction, reuse and new means of retaining the value of packaging materials.
Led by CIRCULÉIRE’s appointed Thematic Working Group Expert Facilitators, Mabbett & Associates Ltd, this TWG will guide participants (i.e. ‘panel members’) through a series of meetings, ideation workshops and webinars aimed at identifying circular innovation opportunities where Irish industry can reduce or replace their primary, secondary and tertiary packaging waste with more re-usable, re-fillable or recyclable packaging systems.