The EPA is the competent authority for the collation of national waste statistics and it reports annually on our performance against Ireland's recycling and recovery targets set out in the EU Packaging and Waste Packaging Directive. However, there are currently no specific targets set for plastic bottles within the Directive and, therefore, data relating to plastic bottles is compiled within data for all other plastic packaging items. The European Commission's “Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment”, which is expected to be agreed shortly at European level, contains a number of specific proposals relating to plastic bottles, including measures to ensure that all plastic bottles have tethered lids and that from 2030 all Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles contain at least 30% recycled plastic. The proposal also sets specific targets for the separate collection and recycling of plastic bottles and states that, by 2025, Member States shall take the necessary measures to collect 77% of plastic bottles separately for recycling, with that figure rising to 90% by 2029. My Department is currently assessing how best to meet these new targets with a number of options under consideration, including a national study into the impact of potentially introducing a Deposit and Return Scheme.
With regard to glass bottles, statistics relating specifically to glass bottles are not collated. However, glass recycling in Ireland is currently at 88%, well ahead of the current EU target of 60%, which is due to increase to 70% by 2025 and 75% by 2030.