Qualifying and Quantifying the Reuse Sector

This EPA-funded research project led by the Clean Technology Centre (CTC), is undertaken in collaboration with the Rediscovery Centre, Community Reuse Network Ireland (CRNI), and the Eastern Midlands Waste Region.  By developing methodologies for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the sector, it will provide policy makers, stakeholders and practitioners with a crucial overview of the non-waste reuse sector of Ireland – vital information as Europe moves towards a Circular Economy model.

The quantitative data provided by the research will allow Ireland to benchmark the reuse sector against those of other Member States and regions. It will also provide a picture of the scale of reuse which can be compared to overall material flows, consumption rates, waste arisings and rates of recovery and recycling.

The project will develop an overview of good practices in other countries to draw lessons for Ireland, and identify gaps in the information that needs to be gathered. Additionally, it will test the capability of the Irish reuse sector to supply necessary data and inform policy makers on the required supports to the sector. This in turn will inform future potential investors to support job creation and social enterprise, as well as supporting the provision of low cost, high value products.

Project outputs:

Q2Reuse virtual exchange with key stakeholders: A conversation towards qualifying and quantifying the reuse sector in Ireland.

In line with its objectives for 2020, Q2Reuse conducts targeted stakeholder engagement, furthering research for the National project which is funded by the EPA.

An online call with 13 out of twenty key identified stakeholders took place on November 30th. The Rediscovery Centre’s Research and Policy Officer Elaine Hanlon introduced herself as the latest member of the team led by Clean Technology Centre (CTC). Project partners consist of Community Reuse Network Ireland (CRNI), Eastern Midlands Waste Region and The Rediscovery Centre.

An overview of the Q2Reuse project was led by CRNI’s Claire Downey, with Dr. Colum Gibson (CTC) detailing expected inputs to the research, which will be finalised in 2021.  The project team, scope and objectives were discussed followed by an overview of the results to date. All stakeholders were provided with insight regarding the diverse range of stakeholders, namely as multiple and specialist interest retailers.

The online exchange provided an opportunity for attendees to better understand the scope of information collected as part of the in-depth interviews. A Q&A and tour de table closed the call, with participants reflecting upon insights from 2020.

The Q2Reuse team plan a number of on-site visits in 2021 (where permitted) in order to further develop forward-thinking practices in the reuse sector. The final report, including details of the stakeholders is expected to be published in May/June 2021.

The Q2Reuse team greatly appreciate the time and expertise of all stakeholders involved in 2020 and look forward to sharing the results of the national research piece in 2021. For more information please see the Q2Reuse website or contact Dr. Colum Gibson, Clean Technology Centre (colum.gibson@ctc-cork.ie) or Elaine Hanlon, The Rediscovery Centre (research@rediscoverycentre.ie)

This project is funded under the EPA Research Programme 2014-2020. The EPA Research Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

This research supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 12 for Responsible Consumption and Production.