Newsletter May 2022

electric refuse truck
The OECD have just published a report on circularity in Ireland, and it puts a figure of 2% on our circular material reuse, which is substantially less than the EU average of 12.8%
This is despite the economic potential that circularity offers businesses and governments alike. Indeed in 2014, the Clean Technology Centre at Munster Technological University estimated that a 5% increase in resource efficiency would result in annual savings of EUR 2.3 billion for the Irish economy.
The scope for gains is particular marked in the construction sector, which grew 8 times faster in Ireland (2013 and 2019) than in the EU27, creating 15% of our GHG emissions and 15% of total waste generation.
The report noted the hurdles to the development of circularity in Ireland as follows;
  • regulatory gaps related to lengthy and unreliable licensing processes,
  • a lack of circular criteria in green public procurement,
  • limited government oversight of the waste sector
  • Funding gaps relate to the absence of a clear and coherent funding framework for the circular economy that also considers private investment
  • limited use of price-based incentives.
  • Early development stage of government departments, agencies and local authorities required to lead the circular transition
  • capacity gaps among Irish SMEs are hampering the adoption of circular practices and applications for funding.
  • limited awareness and understanding of the costs and benefits of a circular economy among Irish businesses and civil society.

And now for some sustainable / circular business news

Infinity M are pioneering solar powered tuk-tuks as part of a carbon-neutral city transportation system

US shoe brand Nisolo introduces sustainable facts labels for it’s products

The Construction Awards now have a Excellence in Sustainability Category

How to influence sustainable behaviour through advertising

Nike due to launch glue-less trainer that takes just 8 minutes to make and can be dissembled easily by customers for recycling in their stores.

UK research of 1,036 participants found that 56% of Gen Z consumers are less inclined to rebuy from a retailer if delivery packaging wasn’t ‘sustainable or resourceful’ 

Puma are recycling worn football jerseys into new ones

The European Commission has recently launched the LIFE Programme 2022 for green project worth €598 million

Lunaz restores and electrifies classic cars and is now remanufacturing EV rubbish trucks! (see top photo)

When in Rome wine brand launches the world first paper wine bottle, emitting 6 times less carbon

In a breakthrough decision a UK High Court rules that Charity trustees can choose planet over profit

Calmura Natural Walls in Canada offer VOC-free carbon-negative wall panelling made with waste wood

An excellent example of adaptive reuse in construction, the Quay Quarter Tower, in Sidney opened this month

Know a business owner that is demonstrating sectoral leadership in transitioning their business or supply-chain(s) towards a circular economy model? Nominate them for  the Circular Economy Leadership Award. Deadline June 10th

Study estimates that rock dust could meet half of the UK’s net-zero carbon removal target 

Burger King becomes the first fast-food restaurant in UK to trial re-usable and returnable packaging

NCAD, DCCI and the Creative Futures Academy have launched the Circular by Design professional training programme for those in the textile and fashion industry. Its aim is to support textile and apparel designers, brands and manufacturers to make the transition to circular practises.

L’Oréal has also contributed €50 million towards a new €150 million ‘Circular Innovation fund’

The new plastic packaging tax that has come into force in the UK puts a charge of £200 per tonne on plastic packaging with < 30% recycled content

Viridor in the UK has donated £50,000 to train up ‘professional repairers’ who will meet the government’s new ‘right to repair’ standards.

The €250 million Opera centre in Limerick is a beacon of recycling and reuse of construction material

If you’d like to discuss how any of these developments will impact your business feel free to get in touch via our contact page.


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy