The National Waste Prevention Programme’s annual report for 2017 was launched today, highlighting the work of the Programme in supporting businesses to prevent waste and use resources more efficiently.
Moving Ireland to a circular economy, where materials are conserved and kept in use as long as possible, will require changes in how we make products and how we deliver services. By being clever about what we make, and being careful about how we use the goods and services in our lives, we can save raw materials and reduce waste while maintaining a good lifestyle.
As the Circular Economy gathers momentum at a European level, it is critical to translate this policy concept into changes in our consumption and production practices. The work of the National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP) plays a key role in building Ireland’s response in this area by providing leadership on innovative ways to keep the added value in products for as long as possible and eliminating wastage. In this context it is timely to consider the thrust and scope of the programme with regard to supporting Ireland’s ambitions in this area. The NWPP has been operating since 2004 and during 2018 a strategic review will be undertaken to inform a reframing of the NWPP to ensure that it continues to deliver on emerging policy priorities within a changing economy.
Green Enterprise challenges organisations & companies to produce goods and provide services in more environmentally friendly ways and to minimise emissions through cleaner production methods.
Since its inception, Green Enterprise has funded 159 projects to the value of €9.35m. The Green Enterprise programme differs from the EPA research programme in that it primarily supports demonstration projects that are conceived and led by businesses and other organisations and not necessarily ‘research’ institutions. The long-term aim of Green Enterprise is to normalise environmentally focused consumption and production behaviours and activities, particularly within the context of the Circular Economy. A call opened in May 2017 for the tenth cycle of the programme. This was advertised on the EPA website, circulated via NWPP networks and through EPA Research communication channels. The EPA invited proposals that were relevant to key national policies including A Resource Opportunity; Food Harvest 2020 and Delivering Our Green Potential, as well as relevance to the EU Circular Economy Package. Projects were particularly encouraged on marine plastics; construction & demolition waste, WEEE and batteries, food waste; and reuse in the circular economy, particularly with an emphasis of added value to marginalised and disadvantaged societal groups.
Large Water Users
Despite Ireland being a water-rich nation, managing this national resource poses major challenges from economic, environmental and social standpoints. However, if effectively managed, Ireland’s water resources also offer compelling advantages for broader society and to further enhance Ireland’s credentials as an investment location for industry, agriculture and tourism.