Minister Bruton launches fund for Circular Economy Innovators - €600,000 available under the EPA’s National Waste Prevention Programme

Date released: April 30, 2019

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. today launched a €600,000 funding opportunity for novel approaches to promote the circular economy, maximise resource efficiency and reduce waste.

It will fund innovators to develop and demonstrate business-ready solutions in the circular economy for consumers and for commercial clients. This funding call is a key part of Ireland’s National Waste Prevention Programme which is led by the EPA. 

Minister Richard Bruton said:

“Transition to a low carbon circular economy will disrupt traditional business models and create new enterprise opportunities. This fund is an excellent opportunity for early movers to seize these opportunities and lead the way. Ireland uses over 100 million tonnes of materials annually, and too much of the waste from this often ends up in landfill or an incinerator after only a short period of use. This funding initiative provides a bridge to commercial, transferable and scalable solutions that will deliver a circular and low carbon economy in Ireland.”

Applications are invited in areas of national importance such as Food Waste Prevention; Construction & Demolition and Plastics. These are key priorities nationally which require innovative thinking and solutions and are also priorities of the EU’s Circular Economy Package.

Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA said,

“The EPA’s National Waste Prevention Programme supports behavioural change and sustainable choices through targeted funding programmes and sharing best practices. Inefficient consumption and missed opportunities for reuse & recycling leads to more waste and higher greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA is pleased to support smart management of materials to keep them in use longer which reduces demand for raw materials and protects the environment. This is the win-win opportunity presented by the circular economy.”

The National Waste Prevention Programme offers opportunities for innovation funding, networking and partnering. The EPA is planning new strategic programmes with high visibility and influence and is keen to work with other organisations, public bodies and networks in the areas of industry & enterprise, product design and research & innovation. Further information on the National Waste Prevention Programme and the funding call - Green Enterprise – Innovation for a Circular Economy is available on the EPA website.

Information, including a video about the National Waste Prevention Programme, is also available.

Notes to Editor

The National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP) is a Government of Ireland initiative, led by the Environmental Protection Agency and funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. There is a National Waste Prevention Committee, comprised of a wide range of waste management, environmental protection, business and community engagement stakeholders The NWPP was established in 2004 and has led many innovative programmes driving waste prevention and resource efficiency. The programme provides tools and information to businesses, households and the public sector to influence behavioural change and support sustainable choices. For more information see the EPA website.

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 mode from the current linear economic model of Take-Make-Use-Dispose to a more efficient and low-carbon circular economy.

Green Enterprise: Innovation for a Circular Economy builds on the EPA’s successful Green Enterprise programme which since 2001 has supported a wide range of organisations to complete environmental projects. The call documentation is available on the EPA website.