ERP Ireland and Minister of State encourage Ireland to LOVE Your Planet this Valentine’s and continue to recycle unwanted electrical waste

The European Recycling Platform (ERP), Ireland’s only pan-European compliance scheme for WEEE and Waste Batteries, today released figures highlighting a further increase of electronic waste recycling with over 8 million electronic items collected by the scheme in 2022 up from 6 million in 2021.  Overall, ERP Ireland collected the equivalent to 12Kg per person in Ireland which is 69% of what is placed on the market, exceeding the 65% target, and representing a 3% increase on the previous year.

ERP Ireland also announced results of a Love Your Planet’ study by Coyne Research, which highlights recycling behaviours in 2022, identifying items recycled, items repaired, as well as items kept unused in the family home and the reasons for hoarding them. The nationally representative online survey carried out amongst 1,000 adults aged 18+ years, revealed that:

  • 7 in 10 people believe the planet is important to them. Interestingly, Baby Boomers (74%), Gen X (72%), and Gen Z (71%) are all more likely to say the planet is important to them than Millennials (61%).
  • there has been a noticeable increase in people repairing items within the last 12 months, rising from an average of 2 items in 2021 to an average of 3 items in 2022 with 200% more repairing a coffee machine, 150% more repairing a power tool, 100% more repairing a lawnmower or hedge trimmer, 71% more repairing a PC/laptop, and 50% more each repairing a telephone/mobile phone, plug/cable/charger, and microwave.
  • reducing food waste followed by reducing plastic use, recycling batteries, and recycling electrical goods are the main actions people undertook in the past 12 months to ‘Love Your Planet’.
  • the kettle continues to be the most recycled item closely followed by plugs/cables/charges with both seeing an increase since March 2022.
  • the number of unused electrical items in the home is higher at 5.1, up from 4.7 in 2022. DVD and video players continue to be the most unused electrical appliances in addition to the Walkman/Discman.  People most often continue to hold on to electrical items in the belief they may use them again (38%), however almost 1 in 4 simply have not got around to recycling them yet.

The research also pointed out that almost 40% now claim to understand the meaning of Circular Economy, a significant increase from 31% in 2022. Traditionally, economies in the developed world have been based on a “take, make, dispose” model. A circular economy is based on long-life products that can be renewed, reused, repaired, upgraded, and refurbished to preserve precious natural resources, protect habitats, and reduce pollution.

Commenting on the Love Your Planet’ research survey, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD, said, We would like to commend ERP Ireland for their fantastic work recycling electrical waste and batteries during 2022 and hope this continues thereafter.

Martin Tobin, CEO, ERP Ireland said: We are delighted with the significant increase in household electrical items presented for collection and recycling during 2022.  And we can do even better, since our research shows there are still a high number of unused items in people’s homes. We are encouraging Irish people to turn red hearts green and ‘Love Your Planet’ this St. Valentine’s Day and put their unused electrical items to better use by recycling them at their local electrical retailer or recycling centre – Happy St Valentine’s Day!”

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