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€490k new funding announced to help create a 'circular economy' in Ireland

Ten projects will be chosen to receive the funding.

Image: Shutterstock/Mameraman

ALMOST HALF A million euro in funding is to be given to businesses under a new scheme to promote a circular economy in Ireland.

The announcement was made today by the Minister of State with special responsibility for the Circular Economy and Communications, Ossian Smyth TD. He announced the funding of €490,000 for 10 projects across Ireland under the first Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme (CEIGS).

He noted that creating a ‘circular economy’ is part of the move towards a more sustainable future. It has a focus on reducing and eliminating waste and keeping resources in use for as long as possible, and the CEIGS scheme is to help communities to make this transition.

The scheme was launched in April of this year to provide support for projects that work in the circular economy space, and “to raise awareness of the need to make the transition”.

While funding under this round of the CEIGS was initially set at €250,000, due to the “overall quality” of the successful applicants, Minister of State Smyth secured an additional €240,000 in funding.

Smyth commented: “The scale of the challenge to become circular requires change at every level of our society. 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 realizing the ambition of these projects and building further on their success in the coming years of this scheme.”

The selected projects will support the drive to develop the circular economy in areas such as sustainable fashion, marine plastics, reusable food packaging and construction.

The recipients are:

  • AM Acoustic Materials
  • Community Resources Network Ireland
  • Cork Environmental Forum
  • Everlend Ltd
  • GIY Ireland
  • Irish Green Building Council
  • Marine Applications Ltd T/A Verifact
  • Novelplast Teoranta
  • PACE Organisation
  • Thriftify Technologies Ltd
  • Changing people’s outlook

A spokesperson for CRNI (Community Resources Network Ireland) – one of the successful applicants – said:

“In order to become a more circular society we need to build consumer confidence in second-hand goods and services. 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.

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They said that the funding “will enable us to prepare our ReMark quality mark for national roll-out, which we believe can be a game changer in Ireland’s circular economy transition”.

“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.” 

Following a public consultation this spring, Ireland’s first All of Government Circular Economy Strategy is expected to be published in September, alongside the Circular Economy Bill.

Smyth’s department said that the new legislation will involve “radical change to production and consumption, limiting single-use products and clamping down on littering and dumping, among other measures”.

The Bill will implement many of the actions in the Government’s Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy and will put the forthcoming Circular Economy Strategy on a statutory footing.

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