Newsletter October 22

low package coffee

September was a whirlwind and so a I didn’t get a newsletter out. Plus there also wasn’t much news so rather than waste your time I decided to hold off on publishing until October.

I was also very busy with the start of the EPA funded Circular Upholstery Textile project that I’m working on with the Irish Wood and Interiors Network (IWIN). We finished visiting the factories of the participating companies and held our first workshop with the consultancy anois

The project is focused on facilitating the sharing of resources and by-products, and find circular solutions to upholstery textile waste. It’s fantastic to be working with enlightened business leaders who are keen to do better business for profit, planet and people.

I am so grateful for the open and collaborative approach they brought to the first workshop. Theory is great but nothing beats talking to people on the ground, and their insights and perspectives were illuminating and inspiring.

For other circular economy & design news read on ……..


ICT supported deposit return schemes being introduced for packaging reuse at The Olive Room Café in Clontarf, Dublin 3.

Here’s an interesting 1 year review of the implementation of the Single-use Plastics Directive in Europe

SteriForm is a design concept by NCAD student Tadhg O’Connell uses one-in-one-out blister pack system and UVC sanitisation technology to deliver 80% cost reduction for pharmacies and a 3697-tonne cut in waste.


In the first half of 2022, renewables and hydro met all of the growth in global electricity demand, preventing a 4% increase in fossil generation, avoiding $40 billion in fuel costs, and avoiding 230 Mt of CO2. In China, wind and solar additions caused fossil fuel power to fall 3%, rather than rise by 1%.

A study from Oxford calculates that switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world as much as $12 trillion by 2050.

Wind turbines could be recycled into gummy bears


Swedish company Heart Aerospace has unveiled its ES-30, a regional hybrid-electric plane with a capacity of 30 passengers, and in Washington, US start-up Eviation has completed the first test flight of its nine passenger prototype.

The Cycling Embassy of Denmark has calculated that society gains 64 cent per kilometre cycled, primarily due to the large health benefit, whereas it costs society 71 cent for every kilometre driven by car. 

Over the past decade Bridgestone has invested more than $100 million into eco-tyres made from guayule, a drought-friendly shrub that produces a compound that’s good enough for race tyres. The eco-tyres have been tested on Indy Cars for over a year and provide ‘similar or better performance’ than traditional rubber tyres.

The world’s largest shipping company, the Mediterranean Shipping Company, is rerouting its fleet to avoid collisions with endangered blue whales off the southern tip of Sri Lanka. The company is working with scientists and marine experts to modify its navigation guidance to reduce the risk of a ship striking a whale by 95%.

Mercedes-Benz just unveiled its long haul trucking prototype that offers 500 kilometres per charge with a 10 ton payload.

Volvo is launching three new massive electric truck models. Each weighs up to 44 tonnes, and designed to cover a wide range of applications including city distribution, refuse handling, regional transport, and construction work.

Electric boats have arrived!


Fascinating article on innovation in fabric dying, including making powdered dye out of worn clothing

Hundreds of yoga teachers are calling out Lululemon for sourcing from coal-powered factories. | The Guardian

Patagonia’s billionaire owner gives away company to fight climate crisis

Funding & Finance

The Irish Government’s 2023 Budget this month saw €2.6 million placed towards the implementation of the Circular Economy Act and the Government’s Waste Action Plan, and €10 million allocated to waste management initiatives and enforcement activities by Local Authorities.

The closing date for the Circuleire Innovation fund is 31st of October

A Norwegian fund that owns around 1.3% of the global stock will require all companies it invests in to reach net zero by 2050.


Registration for the Green Awards 2023 is now open

Food & Drink

German start-up Arkeon Biotechnologies uses a single-step fermentation process to turn ancient micro-organisms and captured carbon dioxide into the building blocks for food.

Here are some suggestions for how a restaurant can be more sustainable

Pepsi and agriculture giant ADM are partnering to implement regenerative agricultural practices on two million acres of American farmland by 2030.

Tracegrow recycles the nutrients in used batteries into an organic fertiliser that improves crop yields

Swiss retails Migros launches a low-package coffee ball (see image above)

Orbisk helps professional kitchens to get a grip on their food waste.


London office development Holbein Gardens is on track to be one of the most sustainable developments with an embodied carbon total of less than 500kgCO2/m2

Germany’s largest flat steel manufacturer, Thyssenkrupp, is moving away from coal at its flagship Duisburg plant due to customer demand for green steel.

British engineering company Buro Happold and American architecture studio Cookfox Architects have developed a prototype for a terracotta building façade system that can house small wildlife, insects, birds and plants.

Irish company helps homeowners avoid concrete foundations

University in Singapore find a way to make timber fire retardant with invisible coating

Mid-century inspired lighting made from cardboard

Supply Chain

Five problems that could slow supplies of food, computers, cars and other goods this winter 

‘We don’t have enough’ lithium globally to meet EV targets, mining CEO says

The EU are to start drafting a new law that will make it obligatory for companies to verify that goods sold in the EU have not been produced on deforested or degraded land anywhere in the world.


Bill Gates and Samsung are working on a toilet that turns human waste into ash

Meanwhile a design student of Brunel University designs water-less toilet


A great case study on the impact of sustainable thinking during film production


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