Packaging – (Directives & Waste Management Regulations):

Directive 94/62/EC:
Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste required Ireland to achieve recovery rates of 25% or more for packaging by 30 June 2001 and 50% or more by 31 December 2005.
All producers, including retailers, participating in the placing of packaging on the Irish market, must

  • Segregate the packaging waste arising on their own premises into specified waste streams (i.e. waste aluminium, fibreboard, glass, paper, plastic sheeting, steel and wood).
  • Have it Collected by authorised operators for Recycling. 

This effectively prohibits the landfill of such materials from commercial sources. 

In addition, major producers i.e. those who have an annual turnover in excess of 1 million euro and who place more than 25 tonnes of packaging on the Irish market, have additional responsibilities with regard to the recovery of packaging waste from their customers.


Under the 2003 Packaging Regulations, major producers have the option of either;

  • Complying directly with their producer responsibility obligations (i.e. self-compliance), or
  • Secure an exemption from those requirements by becoming a member of a packaging waste compliance scheme

Repak Limited – established by Irish industry in 1997 to promote, co-ordinate and finance the collection and recovery of packaging waste with a view to achieving Ireland’s packaging waste recovery and recycling targets under Directive 94/62/EC – is currently the sole approved compliance scheme for the recovery of packaging waste in Ireland.

Directive 2004/12/EC: 

Directive 2004/12/EC amending the original Directive 94/62/EC set new targets for packaging waste to be achieved by 2011, including increased recovery and recycling rates as well as material-specific recycling targets.

Packaging Regulations:

 Waste Management Regulations 2007 – Packaging (S.I. No. 798 of 2007):

The regulations consolidated the existing suite of regulations to bring improved clarity, transparency and accessibility to the packaging waste regulatory regime.  They also introduced a range of integrated measures aimed at optimising the recovery and recycling of packaging waste in Ireland, including a reduction from 25 tonnes to 10 tonnes in the “de minimis” (i.e. one of the thresholds to determine Major Producer’ status) to spread the burden of compliance more equitably across all obligated producers in light of the higher targets that needed to be achieved under Directive 2004/12/ECThe principal articles of the regulations came into effect on 31 March 2008.


Waste Management Regulations, 2006 (Packaging)-(Amendment) S.I. No 308 of 2006;

These regulations gave effect in Ireland to Directive 2004/12/EC amending the original Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste.  The regulations introduced new higher EU packaging waste recovery targets of 60% (with 55% by way of recycling) and included material-specific recycling targets, to be achieved in Ireland by end 2011.


Waste Management Regulations, 2004 (Packaging) S.I. No 871 of 2004;

These regulations amended the existing 2003 packaging regulations and came into effect on 30 December 2004.  The 2004 regulations aimed to further assist in promoting the recovery of packaging waste and in facilitating the achievement of Ireland’s end 2005 packaging waste recovery targets established under Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste.


Waste Management Regulations, 2003 (PackagingS.I. No. 61 of 2003;

These regulations came into effect on 1 March 2003 and revised and replaced the previous regulations made in 1997, and subsequent amending regulations made in 1998.  These packaging regulations strengthened and built upon the previous regulations to facilitate the achievement by Ireland of the 50% packaging waste recovery target by end 2005 as set out in Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste.