While we might be a busy office in Ireland selling envelopes, padded bags, boxes, customised products and more, for us, it's not all about the paper. Much of what we do is learning about, and following, trends and what's shaping our future in the way of packaging, sustainability, global shifts and government initiatives and mandates. You may recall our piece a few months ago about packaging trends in the industry.
This month, we decided to take a closer look at a few Irish initiatives. Ireland has made it its mission to recycle 50% of all plastic packaging by 2025 and 55% by 2030 as part of the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy which was adopted in December 2015. As a result, by 2030, all plastic packaging should be designed to be recyclable or reusable. And while it's a big ask, it's also an important one.
To paint the full picture of cardboard and paper packaging overall, Selectra quoted that "Ireland created 1.1 million tonnes of packaging waste in 2019, with paper and cardboard showing the largest increases in volume." It's a good news story that paper and cardboard volumes are on the increase. And that Ireland achieves a 79% recycling rate in its paper and cardboard reclamations. And if every tonne of recycled paper saves approximately 17 trees, this is considerable!
74 billion trees are cut down a year to provide paper solutions for the world, and this will only increase as we reduce plastics. So any and every initiative that helps improve our [world's] packaging efficiency overall and helps to reduce the use of single-use plastics, is a welcome edition.
Here we take a look at a few Ireland initiatives. We can't wait to see who else follows suit.
"About two-thirds of plastic waste comes from packaging. The Commission aims to increase plastic recycling and for all plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2030."
It's all in the name. In an effort to become the cleanest tech retail provider, Curry's has launched a cash for trash programme, aiming to give its customers money for items they no longer need. It's clever and it's clean. You can take any electricals or electronic devices you no longer want to your local Currys store for free recycling or you can place an order for it to be returned upon delivery of new items. Neat right! Money for things you don't even want anymore.
Last year Lidl supermarket group became the first retailer in Ireland to use prevented ocean plastic (Pop). The Irish Times reported that this is a new form of fresh food packaging for plastic which would otherwise end up in marine environments and would save a whopping 19 tonnes of plastic from entering our oceans each year. Pop has been recycled and reintroduced into its packaging of fish products. Lidl has a very aggressive goal to ensure that 50 per cent of their packaging is made from recycled materials by 2025. And we couldn't be more in support of this initiative!
If you go to the Tescos Ireland website you can also read up on their policies about their Packaging Commitments to 2025, with remits ensuring all packaging on Tesco own-label products will be fully recyclable by 2025; that packaging weight on all Tesco own-label products will be halved; and they'll end the use of hard to recycle materials (Polystyrene PVDC & PVC) from own-label product packaging, to name a few.
It's an impressive list of changes that are being introduced.
This is why we offer recycled and paper alternatives to plastic packaging. Ask any of our Peak Ireland customers and we are very confident they will agree that eco-friendly, sustainable, and non-plastic options continue to be one of our company's key focuses. It is certainly what we believe to be true.