• What is packaging?

    All materials/products used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods from the producer to the end-user and consumer.

    This includes:

    • 1. sales/primary
    • 2. grouped/secondary, and
    • 3. transport/tertiary packaging

    Examples include

    • Beverage cans/cartons/bottles, plastic & glass. (soft drinks, water, milk, juices, alcoholic drinks).
    • Food containers & wrapping. (cheese, meat, bread, sauces, eggs etc.)
    • Health, beauty & medicinal products. (shampoo, soap, medicine, make-up, toothpaste etc.)
    • Household cleaning & DIY products. (detergent, bleach, household cleaners, paint etc.)

    Basically all types of wrapping and containers.


  • What is the law in relation to packaging?


    The European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62EC on packaging waste is aimed at preventing the production of packaging waste by:

    • Reduction
    • Reuse
    • Recycling
    • A harmonising directive to be implemented into national law
    • Setting recovery and recycling targets for Member States

    The European Union (Packaging) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 282 of 2014) are:

    • Designed to facilitate the achievement of packaging waste recovery and recycling targets as set out in the EU Directive
    • Obligations are placed on all businesses who supply packaging on the Irish market.

    Since 1997 Irish legislation has placed the responsibility for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste on those who handle packaging at any stage of the supply chain. Whether you manufacture, import, buy or sell packaged goods, whether you operate a factory, corner shop, hotel, take-away, pub or restaurant, these regulations apply to you.

    Galway City Council is responsible for enforcing these regulations within its functional area. Failure to comply with the regulations may lead to prosecution.


  • Who has obligations under the Packaging Regulations?

    • All producers of packaging
    • Businesses/retail outlets
    • Waste collectors
    • Householders/Public


  • Who are considered to be Producers of Packaging?

    A 'Producer' is a business who, in the course of business, sells or supplies packaging material, packaging or packaged products.

    The Regulations apply to all businesses that handle packaging in whatever form it arises in the course of their business.

    Whether you manufacture, import, buy or sell packaged goods, whether you operate a factory, corner shop, hotel, take-away, pub or restaurant, these regulations apply to you.


  • What obligations are on Producers of Packaging?

    All "Producers" of packaging (including Major Producers) are required to deal with their internal packaging waste responsibly. This means that all businesses are required to separate and recover the packaging they remove at their premises and make it available to a permitted waste collector to have it recovered or recycled.


  • Who are considered to be Major Producers of Packaging?

    A "Major Producer" is defined as a "Producer" who is meeting the following criteria:

    Supplies packaging material, packaging or packaging products onto the Irish market exceeding 10 tonnes per annum


    has an annual turnover greater than €1 million.


  • What obligations are on Major Producers of Packaging?

    More onerous obligations are placed on businesses defined as "Major Producers". As well as the obligations of "Producers" they are additionally required to help fund the recovery and recycling of the packaging they supply to their customers, under the principle of "Producer Responsibility".

    In addition to meeting the obligations placed on all producers, a major producer has two options to comply with the Regulations:
    1. Become Self-Compliant by registering with their Local Authority and paying an annual registration fee. Self-compliance requires compliance with all relevant requirements of the Packaging Regulations including specified reporting requirements, the provision of certain facilities, the display of certain notices, the acceptance/take-back of packaging and specified advertising requirements.
    2. Join Repak Ltd. Repak is the only Body approved under the Regulations. As a Repak member, an annual fee must be paid which is based on the type and quantity of packaging placed on the Irish Market. In return for this fee, Repak will discharge the major producer of their obligation to take back packaging.

    It is important to note that the onus is on the producer (and not the local authority) to prove they are not a major producer.


  • How do I register as a Major Producer of Packaging?

    As a "Major Producer" you can meet your obligation to fund the recovery/recycling of the packaging you supply by either:

    Applying for registration to your Local Authority (Galway City Council) for Self Compliance.  For more information please email 


    Becoming a member of a compliance scheme i.e. Repak. Visit For more information on Repak membership.


  • Is the shop/business required to take back packaging?

    Only if the business is a major producer of packaging and registered with the Local Authority for self-compliance under the regulations. Self compliant Major Producers of Packaging are required to take back packaging, similar to that which it supplies, from the general public at all reasonable times. The packaging must not be contaminated and need not have been purchased from the shop/business. Major producers registered with Repak are exempted from the requirement to accept packaging from members of the public.


  • How can I dispose of my packaging?

    Businesses are required to make arrangements with a private waste collector to have all packaging, including glass, associated with their business collected for recycling/recovery.

    Householders should place all clean packaging in their recycling bin/bag for recycling. If you have a large quantity of packaging that does not fit in your recycling bin you could take it to a recycling centre.Barna Waste http://www.barnarecycling.comCity Bin

    Householders only may deposit glass in the bottle banks throughout the City. Businesses are required to avail of a private waste collection service for glass and all other packaging arising from their business activities.


  • Who can I contact in Galway City Council regarding Packaging?

    Customer Service
    Galway City Council.
    Tel: 091 536400

    Useful links: