Hello, hello, hello,

I hope you're well and enjoyed our prior blogs discussing the simple things we can do to Recycle that little bit better at home! 

I won't lie, I was baffled by the response with over 600 people reading the email that first contained it too so I do hope the majority of you learned, benefitted or enjoyed the read.

If you haven't seen it, it got great reviews for it's simplicity which I loved.

Remember, this is not a dictatorship here at Narcissips - I have thick skin and you can unsubscribe at the bottom of the email or in-turn, you can send to a friend and let them know you think our emails are beneficial :)

Anyway, today I was thinking oddly about "Reeling in the Years" and what I would like to be able to think about & say umpteen years down the line - and maybe this is a good way for more of us to think for a variety of things.

I'm only 29 and yet I can see a huge difference in the way kids view the world, what they like & dislike compared to my generation. A lot definitely being more active in voicing their opinions on the environment and climate issues for a start anyway so these questions are likely.

In 2015, as part of my undergraduate degree in Maynooth Uni, I took a class called the Sustainable Enterprise which focused on People, Planet & Profit - all things with a view of not fucking up the world but making business profitable at the same time, It was interesting as at the time, this was one of my smallest classes in terms of participants whereas now, I'd imagine the class to be jam packed.

But in thinking about 20 and 30 years down the line, one thought comes to mind when "CJ" (Cathal Junior) jumps onto my knee and asks me "Da, what did you do when the world was being invaded by plastics in 2022" as what I can only imagine being a 3D version of Ryan Tubridy illuminates our 52k 4D TV screens at home.

I found this so thought provoking as it strongly aligns with an old Study on Behaviour change & the environment from the United States. 3 neighbourhoods were all given 3 letters to see which ones made the most change in terms of turning off their lights.

The first group were given a letter that said; "save money, turn off your lights and save a part of the environment".

The second group were given a letter that said "by leaving your lights off, you're wasting valuable resources that ar harming the environment, please turn off your lights"

Neither of these had much of an impact.

Lastly, the final letter stated, your neighbours have started to turn other lights off at night, will you do the same - and ultimately, this had a huge impact with a huge percentage then turning off their lights.

Hilarious, but this is Market Signalling and keeping up with the Joneses at it's finest which in some scenarios, is not the worst thing.

Anyway, long story short - Lead By Example and think about what you would like to be able to say in ten years time!

At the moment in Ireland - believe it or not, we're not actually doing too bad but there is huge room for improvement. So look, give yourself a Pat on the Back, too often we are critiqued and kicked when we're not really down and let's face it, we all need more Pats on the Back anyway.


Anyway we are currently ahead of the EU targets for recycling in all areas but plastics in particular needs dramatic improvement (only if we cannot avoid the plastics in the first place)

Irish Recycling Rates vs EU Targets 2021

Glass 86 per cent (EU target 60 per cent); 

Metal 71 per cent (EU target 50 per cent), 

Paper 84 per cent (EU target 60 per cent)

Plastic 31 per cent (EU target: 22.5 per cent)

Wood 69 per cent (EU target 15 per cent)

Lastly, some tips & pointers;

A) If you recycle one aluminium can today, it can be made into a new can, get filled and be back on the shelf in just six weeks. Therefore, always choose a can of Coke or Pepsi etc. over a Plastic Bottle.

B) Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 2.2 cubic metres of landfill space and 7,000 gallons of water.

C) Recycling just 1 tonne of plastics saves 1,000–2,000 gallons of petroleum.

D) Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without loss in quality or purity especially if colour sorted correctly.


If you have any questions regarding Recycling or Narcissips in general, don't be shy in reaching out via email or through our Social Media platforms.

If I don't know, I will sure as hell try my best to find out for you.

All the best,

Cathal O’Reilly


P.s. If you or a friend needs a Reusable, make sure to send them my way :)

Written by Cathal O Reilly

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