10 projects to boost Ireland’s circular economy awarded €490,000

20 Aug 2021

From left: Claire Downey of CRNI, Minister of State Ossian Smyth and Katie O’Donohue of Dublin Simon Community. Image: Maxwells

Funding projects from fashion to marine plastics, the Government said ‘to become circular requires change at every level of our society’.

Minister of State with special responsibility for the Circular Economy and Communications Ossian Smyth, TD, has announced €490,000 in funding for 10 projects that are looking to boost Ireland’s circular economy.

These projects are designed to foster sustainable practices by reducing waste and to keep resources in use for as long as possible. The funding comes from the Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme (CEIGS), which was initially to receive €250,000 but was increased by an additional €240,000 after the quality of applications was observed.

The selected projects range from marine plastics and construction to fashion and reusable food packing.

Community Resources Network Ireland (CRNI), one of the successful applicants, aims to reduce barriers to reuse, repair and recycle by raising the profile of the sustainability sector while promoting positive behaviours. Its funding will be used to prepare its quality assurance mark for second-hand products for a national roll-out.

“In order to become a more circular society we need to build consumer confidence in second-hand goods and services,” said a CRNI spokesperson. “A quality mark, like ReMark, changes how people view second-hand goods and services, driving demand for them and reducing the carbon impact of everyday purchases.

“The funding will be used to support our members and private sector actors to access and pilot this enhanced quality mark. This will help to build consumer confidence in the quality and safety of second-hand goods, by supporting reuse organisations to improve internal processes and customer service.”

Another funding recipient was Thriftify, the Irish e-commerce start-up that helps charity shops sell online.

The CEIGS was first announced in April of this year as part of a larger effort to change habits of production and consumption in Ireland and transition to a circular economy. The All of Government Circular Economy Strategy is expected to be released in September, alongside a new Circular Economy Bill.

“The scale of the challenge to become circular requires change at every level of our society,” said Smyth.

“I am delighted to be able to support these projects which have been proposed from people active in making and advocating change. We can learn so much from doing. I look forward to realising the ambition of these projects and building further on their success in the coming years of this scheme.”

Sam Cox was a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news