Irish Startups Help Pave the Road to a Circular Economy

The European Recycling Platform (ERP), Irelands only pan-European compliance scheme for WEEE and Waste Battery compliance, has called on Irish start-ups to enter the 2022 Green Alley Awards - Europe’s first start-up award‘s scheme for the circular economy. ERP Ireland is inviting startups to showcase their technology, service or product where resources are saved and waste is minimized. The winner of the Green Alley Award receives a cash prize of €25,000.

The launch of the Awards is marked by the milestone achievement as the European Recycling Platform celebrates collecting and treating more than 4 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) across Europe since its foundation in 2002. The recycling of WEEE not only saves valuable natural resources, but also reduces the environmental harm of e-waste and helps the transition from a linear to a circular economy.

Recycling 4 million tonnes of WEEE equals:

  • Preventing the release of 6000 tonnes of ozone depleating substances
  • Saving enough energy to power 1,000,000 homes for a year
  • Preventing the emission of 43,400,000 tonnes of CO2
  • Preventing the escavation of 8,957,756 cubic metres of landfill
  • Recycling 3000 million laptops or 300 million TVs

As Europe’s first start-up awards scheme for the circular economy, the 2022 Green Alley Awards is looking for companies who have developed a business model in the areas of digital circular economy, recycling and waste prevention that are about to launch their products or services or are already in the growth phase or want to expand into other European markets. Founders and startups are invited to submit their applications until 23rd November 2021 and the best ideas will be selected for a live pitch in April 2022.

Commenting on ERP’s collection and treatment of 4 million tonne and the Green Alley Awards, Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Ossian Smyth TD said, “Ireland’s Waste Action Plan for a circular economy recognises that Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams worldwide and we aim to build on the success of our existing compliance schemes, like ERP Ireland, to capitalise on circularity potential. The Green Alley Awards gives businesses an opportunity to play their part in developing Ireland’s circular economy and positively impacting on the environment. ”

Martin Tobin, CEO, ERP Ireland said, “We want to encourage new ideas and business models that save resources and reduce waste. There are so many creative ideas out there and the Green Alley Awards provides the perfect platform for Irish start-ups to showcase their new environmental business. Whether it is the development of sustainable materials, ideas for waste reduction or helpful digital tools, the circular economy holds enormous business potential for startups.

The diversity of concepts from Green Alley Award winners over the past years clearly shows this - traceless materials from Germany won the 2021 award for a patent pending technology that transforms agricultural industry residues into a sustainable plastic. These companies represent true innovators and we are looking for that next generation of ideas to help shape this change.

Treating 4 million tonnes of WEEE shows that ERP has contributed significantly to the EU in its transition from a linear to a more circular economy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, the Producer Register Limited, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), local authorities, waste contractors, electrical retailers and the Irish Public for embracing the spirit and ethos of the WEEE Directive to make it the success it is in Ireland.”

The Application Process

  1. Startups are invited to submit their application by 23rd November 2021.
  2. A pre-selected number of startups will be put on the Green Alley Award website for a public vote. The startup with the majority of the votes will be automatically amongst the six finalists. The remaining five will be selected by an expert committee.
  3. On 28th April 2022 the six finalists will be invited to Berlin, where they will meet circular economy and startup experts in working sessions. In the evening each of the finalists will have the chance to pitch their idea live on stage to an expert jury and international audience.

For more information visit:

Stay up to speed

By clicking sign up, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy.