The Problem with Plastic Packaging in General Waste

Plastic packaging We often hear about the negative impact of plastic on the environment, but what about the plastic packaging in general waste? Unfortunately, plastic packaging is a major contributor to the growing amount of general waste in Ireland. In this blog post, we’ll explore the problem with plastic packaging in general waste and what we can do to help reduce its impact.

Firstly, it’s important to understand just how much plastic packaging is produced each year. According to the “in 2021, over 1.2 million tons of packaging waste was generated in Ireland. That’s a clear trend over the last 5 years of continued growth in plastic packaging” .

Less than half of this waste is recycled even though it can be, in a recycle bin. Only 28% of plastic waste is being recycled. The majority is put into general waste in Ireland. This means that most plastic packaging is incinerated, when it can be recycled.

Plastic packaging can be harmful to wildlife too. It is mistaken for food by animals such as birds and turtles. This can lead to ingestion and entanglement, both of which can be fatal for wildlife. Plastic waste in the ocean is also a problem, with an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic ending up in oceans each year.

Thirdly, plastic packaging in incineration leads to pollution and needless extra carbon in our air.

So, what can we do to reduce the amount of plastic packaging in general waste? Firstly, we can make a conscious effort to put it into recycle bins instead of general waste. We can reduce our own plastic consumption by using reusable bags, bottles, and containers.

Choosing products with minimal or recyclable packaging. We can advocate for more efficient and sustainable packaging options, such as biodegradable plastics or plant-based packaging. To learn more visit the

Voice Ireland are an environmental charity that are running a Sick of Plastic campaign group. You can sign up to their mailing list

In summary, plastic packaging in our waste is a serious and growing problem that requires a collective effort to combat. We can each do our part by reducing our own plastic waste and advocating for more sustainable packaging options. By taking action now, we can help to protect the environment and wildlife for future generations to come.