Student competition seeks to boost Irish recycling markets

A government-funded body set up to reduce waste and stimulate recycling in Ireland is hoping to tap into the ingenuity of the country's students to build new markets for old materials.

rx3, rethink, recycle, remake, formerly known as the Market Development Programme for Waste Resources, does for Ireland what WRAP does for the UK.

In it’s latest inititative, the organisation is asking students to turn trash to cash with the goal of highlighting the opportunities to be had working with waste materials and start changing the Irish mindset about waste.

“The focus is to rethink how waste can be recycled to make new products,” said Louise Connolly, materials manager for rx3.

“By recycled we mean changing the physical property of the waste material so for example, it can be shredded, crushed or chopped.

“This could then be made into a new product or perhaps just an intermediary product which would undergo a further process to make a final product.

“Right now people don’t appreciate for example that plastic bottles can make fleeces and yoghurt cartons toothbrush handles- however this is what happens with the waste we export.”

As well as receiving a cash prize, shortlisted entrants will have their ideas showcased at the Sustainable Innovation Forum which rx3 will be hosting in April 2010.

The competition is open to all students living in Ireland and details can be found on the rx3 website.

Sam Bond

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