CRNI Urges Climate Action through Repair, Reuse and Recycling

The calls for urgent climate action were heard loud and clear during the election. As the Government draws up its All of Government Plan on Climate Disruption, now is the time for Ireland to act to reduce the climate impact of our resource consumption.

Recent studies have found that up to 40% of global emissions are due to extraction, manufacturing and distribution of goods. We need to move away from our current disposable culture (take-make-waste) towards sustainable reuse of goods we have already —through repair, reuse and recycling. Immediate steps need to be taken to address this and move to a more Circular Economy by Government, businesses and individuals.

 CRNI Urges Climate Action through Repair, Reuse and Recycling
Eco Mattress

Currently only about 3% of our goods are reused compared with 40% recycled and the rest recovered or disposed. Community Reuse Network Ireland (CRNI) members, who are reuse, recycling and waste prevention social enterprises reused over 31kt goods in 2018 that would otherwise have gone for recovery or disposal. This saved over 220k tonnes of carbon.

They also provided more than 660 full-time jobs, 1,600 training positions and 5,800 volunteer opportunities in urban and rural communities across the island with an estimated social value of over €39 million. The turnover of their combined activities amounted to €66 million and more than 11 million customers were reached.

CRNI Urges Climate Action through Repair, Reuse and Recycling
Rediscovery Centre

Claire Downey, CRNI Executive, said: “We are proud of our members’ impact, but a lot more has to be done to get the full potential of a more Circular Economy in Ireland. Repair, reuse and recycling must be prioritised in policy and by individuals, businesses and the public sector when making day-to-day decisions. This would reduce the demand for new goods and in turn reduce pressure on our climate due to extraction and manufacturing as well as reducing waste.”

CRNI Urges Climate Action through Repair, Reuse and Recycling

Climate action for Government: In addition to including the Circular Economy in policies, additional investment in those who can support the implementation of legislation will be critical to make headway on the climate crisis. Revising existing policies to reflect new Circular Economy obligations in the coming year will also be necessary. Beyond legislation, the public sector can make low-carbon choices through green procurement. Recent CRNI research shows that Government can help to use the estimated 1.2 million potentially reusable bulky items thrown out every year by committing to Bulky Item Reuse in their procurement decisions.

CRNI Urges Climate Action through Repair, Reuse and Recycling
Recycle IT

Climate action for Business: Behind every product, there are resources and emissions resulting from resource use, manufacturing, packaging and transportation. CRNI members have found it increasingly difficult to repair or refurbish goods, due to poor product design and the design phase of products is critical in driving effective reuse and recycling. Ireland’s own design and manufacturing industry can show leadership and innovation through the green design of their products in a durable, repairable and low-carbon manner.

Climate action for Individuals: It is estimated that Irish householders reuse less than 5% of the amount of waste discarded every year, even though people continuously reuse certain items on a daily basis. People can reuse every day, in their homes, the workplace and during leisure time. Resources for reuse, repair and recycling activities ranging from buying or donating pre-loved items to borrowing, swapping, repairing and upcycling existing items and social enterprises who can help can be found on CRNI’s website. Individuals can also look for ReMark, Ireland’s newest quality mark for second hand goods developed by CRNI.

About Community Reuse Network Ireland (CRNI)

Community Reuse Network Ireland is an all-island representative body for community-based reuse, recycling and waste prevention organisations. Our vision is an Ireland where the word ‘waste’ doesn’t exist and where our entire community benefits from the social, environmental and economic value of all reusable resources. The network is funded under the EPA’s National Waste Prevention Programme. More information on our work and members is available at and at @CRNIreland on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

CRNI memberFocus AreaGeographic location
Back2NewFurniture, textilesNewcastle West, Co Limerick
BoomerangMattress RecyclingCork, Co Cork
Bounce Back RecyclingMattress RecyclingGalway, Co Galway
Bryson RecyclingMixed Dry RecyclablesBelfast and Dungloe, Laghey, Carndonagh, Stranorlar, Milford, Letterkenny, Co Donegal
Camara EducationWEEEDublin 20, Co Dublin
Duhallow REVAMPFurnitureNewmarket, Co Cork
East Belfast MissionFurniture, textiles (charity shops)Belfast
Eco MattressMattress RecyclingDublin 11, Co Dublin
FoodCloudFood ReuseDublin/Cork/Galway, Nationwide
Free Trade IrelandOnline ExchangeNationwide
Irish Charity Shops Association (ICSA)Charity Shops450 Charity Shops in every county, Nationwide
ReCreatePre-waste Art MaterialsDublin 12, Co Dublin
Recycle ITWEEEClondalkin, Co Dublin
Rediscovery CentreFurniture, Textiles, BikesBallymun, Dublin 9, Co Dublin
Rehab RecyclingWEEE (IT & White Goods)Tallaght, Dublin 24, Co Dublin
Revamp 3RFurnitureLongford, Co Longford
Kingdom Furniture RevampFurnitureCastleisland, Co Kerry
USELMattress recycling; furniture reuseBelfast
UPcycling ProjectFurniture, FurnishingsDublin 8, Co Dublin
WeshareHousehold items, skillsDublin, Co Dublin

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