Dutch and Irish foundations join forces for a circular economy
May 30, 2023
Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH) and The Rediscovery Centre have entered a partnership to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy in Ireland, the Netherlands and beyond. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) took place on Monday the 29th of May, 2023, coinciding with the Dublin Circular Economy Hotspot 2023 event, which showcased the Irish achievements in developing a circular economy.
In the presence of Freek van Eijk, director of Holland Circular Hotspot and Dr Sarah Miller, Rediscovery Centre, the signing ceremony marked the launch of the partnership between the two foundations. The signing was witness by Ossian Smyth, Irish Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy and Yaron Oppenheimer, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“As the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland, we are delighted to formalise our collaboration with Holland Circular Hotspot, through which we will work as transition brokers - exploring best practice, facilitating connections and co-designing events, research and initiatives that can support excellence in the circular economy across Ireland and HollandRediscovery Centre chief executive Dr Sarah Miller.
European and Irish Organizations Join Forces to Drive Circular Economy Transition
Under the agreement, both parties provide their experience, knowledge and expertise to intensify bilateral cooperation in the circular economy space. Areas for collaboration are, for instance, sharing best practices in circularity, promoting European and international collaboration on circular economy initiatives and circular hotspots, and exploring opportunities for global initiatives and proposals.
“Our foundation aims to accelerate the transition to a global circular economy, which is why we are excited to engage with the Rediscovery Centre to fast-track this movement,” said HCH director Freek van Eijk.
A circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy which follows a ‘take, make, dispose’ model. The circular economy replaces this with a closed-loop system in which materials are used and reused as efficiently as possible, minimising resource use, pollution and carbon emissions. The European Union, Dutch and Irish authorities agree that a new economic model is needed and opt for a circular economy model where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, have the maximum value extracted from them whilst in use, and are recovered and regenerated into new products at their end-of-life. Again, international collaboration plays a crucial role in catalysing this transition.
“The Netherlands is a global leader in circular economy thinking, and Holland Circular Hotspot’s knowledge and expertise can be inspirational to a circular economy in Ireland”
“As Europe’s first circular economy demonstration centre and as reuse and repair practitioners, the Rediscovery Centre brings unique insights into circular models and citizens engagement which, underpinned by research, can inspire change both locally and across Europe.”
Against the background of the Dublin Circular Economy Hotspot event, HCH Director Freek van Eijk added that the recent pandemic and geopolitical developments in Ukraine have given us additional reasons to embrace and accelerate the transition to a circular economy. “Circular economy is not only inspirational, but it can also be our secret weapon in our fight against climate change and increase our resource resilience. I see it as the biggest business opportunity of the century, and international will only increase the opportunity.”
About The Rediscovery Centre
The Rediscovery Centre is the National Centre for a Circular Economy in Ireland. Since 2004, the Centre has transitioned Ireland to a circular economy and low-carbon, sustainable future. Based in Europe’s first circular economy demonstration centre, the Rediscovery Centre acts as an innovation hub, delivering education, providing research and enabling policy and collaboration to support citizen engagement.
The work is supported by key strategic partners, including the Government of Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Dublin City Council (DCC). In addition, the Centre is a coordinating member of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, a founding member of the Community Resources Network and an active member of the European RREUSE network, the Irish Waste Advisory Group and the Irish Environmental Network.