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Irish Times - 26/01/06

Madam, - Some of the points made by Darrell Crowe of Repak (January 23rd) require comment.

He says it is "more efficient and targeted. . .to charge producers for their packaging, thereby penalising over-packaging on products". Nonsense - the cost is simply passed on to the purchaser.

He argues for the "role and function" of packaging. Indeed. But is it beyond the wit of men to produce packaging which is totally and easily recyclable? Other forms of packaging should be outlawed, except perhaps biodegradable packaging.

Newspapers are easily recycled, anywhere.

Mr Crowe might explain the type and amount of packaging on a set of two small batteries, for instance.

Unless Repak becomes part of a serious change in the amount and type of packaging permitted it will continue to be seen as a screen to protect major retailers from accepting their full responsibilities. - Yours, etc,

RICHARD MURPHY, PRO, Westmeath Environmental Group, Coralstown, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

Madam, - As someone who runs a small company that takes its responsibilities seriously I believe that, rather than encouraging good recycling practice the system operated by Repak actually discourages companies from actively working to reduce packaging waste.

The system introduced by the EU is that the supplier of packaging waste is responsible for its disposal. This is how the system should work. Customers should be able to return waste packaging to the supplier or shop where they purchased the goods, with these companies supplying a collection and recycling service.

This is not the case with companies that pay a subscription to Repak. They are not obliged to take back any packaging waste at all. By paying this levy they are completely absolved of any responsibility for disposing of any packaging waste which they supply.

The easy option is for companies to pay a levy to Repak and forget about recycling. This would not be the case if supermarkets and shops were required to take back packaging. I believe there would then be a substantial increase in packaging recycling and an added incentive to reduce the amount of packaging. - Yours, etc,

PIERCE MAHER, Suaimhneas, Lucan, Co Dublin.


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
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