Green Alley Awards 2020 are launched showcasing Irish environmental businesses helping to pave the way to a circular economy

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and The European Recycling Platform (ERP), Ireland’s only pan-European compliance scheme for WEEE and Waste Battery compliance is today calling on Irish start-ups to enter the 2020 Green Alley Awards, Europe’s first start-up awards scheme for the circular economy. The Awards are aimed at all start-ups and entrepreneurs who have developed a business model in the areas of digital circular economy, recycling, and waste prevention. The business idea must help reduce waste or turn waste into resources. The winner of the Green Alley Award receives a cash prize of €25,000.

Philip Nugent, Assistant Secretary at The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment said, “We are currently consuming at a rate that requires three planets. This is unsustainable. A circular economy provides us with the opportunity to consume less resources and to extend the productive life of the objects we buy and use. Covid-19 has presented a new normal for everyone and there are so many possibilities. The Green Alley Awards aims to bring together the pioneers of the circular economy and I am delighted to support this initiative that encourages new ideas and approaches to saving resources and reducing waste.” 

Martin Tobin, CEO, ERP Ireland said, “This new normal has given people the time to look at the amount of waste they’re generating around them. We have a unique opportunity here to help shape the future. The Green Alley Awards provides a platform for Irish start-ups to showcase their new environmental businesses. Winners have included businesses that have come up with solutions from producing an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging to creating a sustainable alternative to leather. We are looking for companies that are about to launch their products or services or are already in the growth phase. We also welcome start-ups who want to expand into other European markets. These companies represent true innovators and we are looking for that next generation of ideas to help shape this change.”

Lynn Haughton, Founder, The Upcycle Movement said, “The Upcycle Movement is delighted to be able to support the launch of the 2020 Green Alley Awards. One of the biggest challenges humanity is facing today is the drain on natural resources and the immense amount of waste caused by disposable items. The Upcycle Movement takes discarded wetsuits headed for landfill and we repurpose them and turn them into bags and accessories for activity. As a society we have thrown away materials thinking they are waste, we wanted to show how you can make a business out of a waste material. The need for start-ups operating in the circular economy space has never been greater. This award will help to increase awareness of the Irish businesses operating within this sphere and the greater benefit they are bringing to society.”

Interested start-ups across Europe can submit their entries by 17th November 2020. After the end of the application phase, several pre-selected start-ups will be displayed on the Green Alley Award website for a public vote. The winner of the public vote will be amongst the six finalists. The remaining five will be selected by an expert selection committee. On 22 April 2021, the six finalists will present their idea live on stage in Berlin. The international jury made up of representatives from the Landbell Group as well as external experts including Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO, Landbell Group and Marie-Ann Meigo Fonseca, CEO of the 2019 winning company, Gelatex Technologies will choose the overall winner.
In 2019, Gelatex claimed first prize with their 100% non-toxic, eco-friendly textile material for fashion and interior design. In 2018, Aeropowder won over the jury with their idea for insulating material for packaging made from waste feathers. In 2017, the Finish start-up Sulapac presented a wooden, biodegradable alternative to plastic packaging.
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