Repak launches nationwide ‘Recycle and Change for the Better’ schools programme

This morning, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten and Repak CEO Seamus Clancy launched the Repak ‘Recycle and Change for the Better’ schools programme at O’Connell CBS Primary School, Drumcondra. The nationwide education programme will target 1st to 6th class students across 3,300 primary schools, reaching a total of 398,812 pupils. The programme will endeavour to educate students about the benefits of best recycling practices to change behaviours towards recycling and ultimately reduce recycling bin contamination.

 

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten pictured with Joseph Delaney, 11 and and Daniel She, 8, pupils from O’Connell CBS Primary School, Drumcondra at the launch of the Repak ‘Recycle and Change for the Better’ schools programme. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten pictured with Joseph Delaney, 11 and and Daniel She, 8, pupils from O’Connell CBS Primary School, Drumcondra at the launch of the Repak ‘Recycle and Change for the Better’ schools programme. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

 

Repak has created the ‘Recycle and Change for the Better’ educational programme to encourage best recycling practices and in response to the rising levels of recycling bin contamination in Ireland. Up to 40% of what is currently placed in recycling bins is contaminated and with new EU recycling targets, which are expected to be higher, Repak has taken this proactive step to address the issue. Repak hopes the programme will change student attitudes and behaviours, transforming participating pupils into enthusiastic recycling ambassadors, influencing their family and friends in turn.

 

Five videos have been created with enthusiastic recycling characters including Jenny the jam jar, Cormac the can, Bridget the bottle, and Bobby the box. Each school will be issued with a pack containing engaging and educational lesson plans, recycling quizzes, colouring sheets, fun facts and recycling projects relating to best recycling practices for glass, cardboard, plastic, aluminium and waste contamination- the five key pillars of recycling and the five fun and engaging videos linking to the materials will be available for download on repak.ie/schools. Repak’s ‘Recycle and Change for the Better’ packs will be sent to all schools in Ireland from the week of 27th March. All materials contained in the packs are linked to the Social, Personal and Health Education curriculum.

 

Commenting on the launch of Repak’s new ‘Recycle and Change for the Better’ programme was Minister forCommunications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten: “I am delighted to meet with the staff and children of O’Connell CBS Primary School and to launch this excellent Programme.  How to recycle and what to recycle is something we probably all need to work harder on.  Education is key to this and if every child here today brings home the message of any of the engaging characters that form part of this Programme, it will be a good start.  I would like to thank Repak for taking this initiative and wish them the best with the roll out”.

 

Speaking at the launch of Repak’s ‘Recycle and Change for the Better’ schools programme was CEO of Repak, Seamus Clancy. “We are delighted to announce the launch of Repak’s newest educational consumer campaign, ‘Recycle and Change for the Better’. This schools programme is a much-needed educational campaign that will strive to change behaviours among primary school students towards recycling. Through this programme, we hope to inspire children across the country to see the tangible benefits of recycling; we believe this early introduction to the concept of recycling will ingrain positive recycling habits and allow them to influence their elders. This programme could not have been possible without the support of our 2,107 members who have funded the initiative”

 

Commenting on the reasons why Repak has created the programme, CEO of Repak, Seamus Clancy said,“Thanks to our members and the Irish consumer, Repak has achieved 20 years of success in packaging recycling. However, the future looks very challenging. It is widely expected that the EU will significantly increase the recycling targets to be achieved by 2025.  Given that 40% of what goes currently in our recycling bins is contaminated, we must act now. This educational programme is an investment in our future. Children are our future; they will help us reach our targets and change Ireland for the better.”

 

The Repak ‘Recycle and Change for Better’ schools programme is being funded by its 2,107 participating member companies.

 

The success of the programme will be measured by monitoring the levels of engagement from pupils and teachers across the interactive elements of the programme. Repak will also continue to measure recycling levels across the key packaging materials addressed in the programme, which include cardboard, aluminium, glass and plastic.

 

Informational videos:

Bridget The Bottle


Jenny The Jam Jar

Bobby The Box

Cormac The Can

Repak Contamination Video

How many schools is Repak working with?

Our Recycle and Change for the Better school’s programme will target 1st to 6th class students in 3,300 primary schools across Ireland. Our goal is to educate these children about the benefits of recycling and best recycling practices, in order to inspire change for future generations.

 

How many students does that reach?

Figures from a Tusla report from 2014 tell us that there is over half a million children in primary schools across Ireland, so our packs will reach a large proportion of those. The packs have been created in both the English and Irish language.

 

What areas will this initiative run?

All across Ireland.

 

What do Repak hope to achieve by running this initiative?

Our mission is twofold. To encourage recycling rather than consuming and to reduce contamination.

We are currently consuming so much of the planets natural resources that we need a planet about 3 or 4 times larger than it is right now to continue with our current behaviours.  What will we leave for future generations if we don’t act now? We need to recycle rather than consumer. Repak has 20 years of success in packaging recycling but the future is looking significantly more challenging and we may have higher targets set for us by the EU which will need to be achieved by 2025. We must act now. Children are our future, they will help us reach our targets, they are our change for the better.

Each year, over 100k tonnes of contaminated waste is diverted to landfill. The main offenders include:

  • Nappies and Sanitary Products
  • Food Waste
  • Contaminated Packaging
  • Garden Cuttings / Soil
  • Polystyrene (EPS)
  • Liquids/ Oils
  • Textiles – including clothes and home furnishings
  • Dismantled Furniture
  • Medical Waste
  • Glass
  • Light Bulbs
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment i.e. anything that can contain a battery or a plug
  • Batteries
  • General waste that should be in the General waste Bin

 

Up to 40% of what goes in our recycling bins is contaminated – a figure that has significantly increased over the years. One of Repak’s main objectives is to see this figure fall over the coming years.

This is a public education campaign that will strive to change behaviours towards recycling, and indeed introduce the idea of recycling and its benefits to children in their formative years. We hope that after they become familiar with the concept, they will take this knowledge into their homes to and positively influence their household’s decision-makers into adapting better recycling habits.

 

What impact do you hope this initiative will have on recycling in Ireland?

Like all of Repak’s consumer campaigns, the aim is to change behaviours and attitudes towards recycling. Repak hopes to inspire households across the country to see the tangible benefits of recycling and we believe these children will benefit from an early introduction to the concept of recycling and inspire their elders.

 

What areas of recycling does this initiative address?

The school’s packs encompass messaging around glass, cardboard, plastic, aluminium and contamination. We have created five fun and engaging videos for the schools, alongside a quiz, colouring sheets, and ‘Did You Know’ information.

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