The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched its €625,000 funding opportunity for Irish enterprises to innovate, demonstrate and implement circular economy approaches in their business models.
Speaking about the Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy funding call, Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA said: “A ‘circular’ economy reduces waste throughout the economic cycle and ensures that materials are used as efficiently as possible.
“Circular businesses reduce costs and environmental impact by reusing, repairing and recycling materials already in use. These approaches can advance the green transition, accelerate digital transformation and can deliver new jobs and skills as Ireland implements its National Recovery and Resilience Plan.”
A ‘circular’ economy reduces waste throughout the economic cycle and ensures that materials are used as efficiently as possible.
The EPA is inviting business and industry applicants from across Ireland’s economy with business-ready innovative projects targeting the areas of food, plastic, construction and demolition waste and resources and raw materials.”
The EPA’s Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy fund supports Irish enterprises develop and demonstrate circular economy approaches, designing out waste and pollution and keeping products and materials in use for longer. The types of projects being targeted include:
- Use of eco-design to develop sustainable products.
- Innovation to reduce the use of raw materials in product manufacturing.
- Development and implementation of circular production processes (designing out waste, life cycle analysis).
- Recycling, reuse and repair activities in the business and industry sector.
- Circular services and business models (to transform consumption patterns, logistics and to foster reuse and repair).
Mary Frances Rochford, Programme Manager, EPA Office of Environmental Sustainability said: “The circular economy is shaping national and international business models as a viable market response to environmental and climate challenges.
“Moving to a circular economy is critical for Irish business as Ireland positions itself as a market leader in the provision of goods and services, while protecting the environment, protecting the economy, and protecting local jobs.”
The deadline for submission of proposals for Green Enterprise funding is 29 July 2021.
Moving to a circular economy is critical for Irish business as Ireland positions itself as a market leader in the provision of goods and services, while protecting the environment, protecting the economy, and protecting local jobs
A circular economy aims to reduce waste at all stages of the economic cycle and ensure materials are used as efficiently as possible. It challenges us to move from the current linear economic model of ‘Take-Make-Use-Dispose’ to a more efficient and low-carbon circular economy.
Waste prevention, a central concept of the circular economy, challenges us to review our existing design, production, distribution and consumption of products.
Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy has funded sixteen innovative circular economy projects to date including:
- An industrial symbiosis project to reduce food waste by using surplus bakery bread as a secondary raw material in brewing beer.
- An innovative manufacturing process using recyclable, reinforced plastic for producing wind turbine blades.
- Evaluating the potential to recover and use the biomass generated in fruit and vegetable supply chains to produce new food fibre ingredients.
- A pilot programme to compare different textile collection systems, supported by a communications campaign.
Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy is a flagship innovation & demonstration initiative of Ireland’s National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP). The NWPP is a Government of Ireland initiative, led by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The NWPP’s mission is to prevent waste and drive circular economy in Ireland, through supporting innovation & demonstration, delivering through strategic partnerships and advocacy & communications.