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Wednesday, 23rd June 2021

Sonairte - saving the planet one crisp bag at a time

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Volunteer Anitha Chellamuthu at the crisp bag collection point at Sonairte.

The people of East Meath and further afield are being encouraged to recycle crisp packets for the first time, saving them from landfill and raising funds for Sonairte, The National Ecology Centre, at the same time.

Sonairte, run the crisp packet recycling scheme in conjunction with TerraCycle who are the world leaders in the recycling of hard-to-recycle waste. 

They have set up a public drop off point at Sonairte where local people can dispose of their empty crisp packets to be sent in for recycling.  None of this waste can be included in local recycling bins so traditionally has ended up in landfill or been incinerated.

Dr Kim Reilly, who manages the public drop off location in Sonairte Eco Shop explains: “We were looking into recycling solutions as part of our waste reduction plan when we came across these great free programmes run by TerraCycle to recycle a whole host of waste which the local council recycling collections can’t accept.

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“Anyone can sign up and collect waste at home for recycling. I decided to go one step further by setting up public access drop off location at Sonairte, where the local community can all drop off their waste crisp packets, as well as Pringles Cans, Biscuits and Snacks packets”.

The crisp packet waste is then recycled by shredding, cleaning and turning it into a pellet format which can then be used to create new plastic products such as outdoor furniture, lumber and construction applications reducing the need to extract new resources from the planet.

As well as benefitting the environment, this programme also helps raise funds for Sonairte - The National Ecology Centre which is a registered environmental charity and ecology centre located on the banks of the River Nanny. For each unit of waste collected, Sonairte receives TerraCycle points that can be redeemed as a monetary donation.

Dr Reilly concluded: “This initiative is a great way to help both the environment and  Sonairte charity. Sonairte has been advocating for ways to live more sustainably with the planet in order to protect our natural environment from critical threats such as climate breakdown, pollution, habitat loss and species extinctions through ecological education and nature connection experiences.

“So we encourage everyone in Laytown, Bettystown and Julianstown to drop off their empty Pringles Cans, Biscuits and Snacks and crisp packets to the Eco Shop at Sonairte - The National Ecology Centre, The Ninch, Laytown, Co. Meath, A92 D9XH, and to help us spread awareness locally by telling their friends, families and colleagues. The Eco Shop is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.”

For more information see:

The Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme | TerraCycle® Ireland · TerraCycle

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