AN TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY TD LAUNCHES THE SMILE RESOURCE EXCHANGE INTO DUBLIN

Thursday, 13th September – Today, the SMILE Resource Exchange announced that the free exchange service for business will expand into Dublin. SMILE Resource Exchange is a network of businesses that reuse each other’s surplus products, by-products and reusable items, in order to save money and help the environment by diverting waste from landfill. A key focus of the organisation is to encourage businesses to identify new business opportunities from using unwanted resources. SMILE stands for Saving Money through Industry Links & Exchanges.  Potential exchanges are identified through SMILE networking events, an online exchange facility (www.smileexchange.ie) and the SMILE support team.

The first Dublin Exchange event will take place on Tuesday, October 9th running from 9am to 1pm in Croke Park. SMILE Resource Exchange is funded primarily by the Environmental Protection Agency; SMILE is partnering with the four Dublin Enterprise Boards.

Speakers at the Dublin event include:

·         Mark Finnegan, Sustainability Specialist, IKEA; Mark will talk about IKEA’s approach to reuse.

·         Mammuko, a company that makes contemporary bags out of  upcycled sailcloth, PVC tarpoulin and marine fabrics

·         Remake, a group of Irish designers who work with unwanted materials to create new products

To date, the service has been available to businesses in Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick with a current membership of 550.  At the exchange events and through the SMILE Resource Exchange website, businesses can identify resources they would like to exchange: reusable items, by-products and surplus products.  Membership of SMILE Resource Exchange is free for businesses and the project is managed by Macroom E and supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Local Authorities and Enterprise Boards in Cork, Limerick, Kerry and Clare. All resources offered are either free of charge or below market value.

Exchanges made to date at the Munster events have involved all sectors and product categories; goods that have been exchanged are as diverse as drum containers; cardboard; furniture; plastics and Styrofoam.

Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, said, “Our natural environment and ‘green’ image is one of Ireland’s greatest assets which we must protect.  The government is determined that reuse becomes a much bigger focus and is a key part of our Waste Management Policy. The SMILE Resource Exchange service diverts surplus products, by-products and reusable items from landfill, saves businesses money and encourages business to find new business opportunities out of unwanted resources.  I would encourage businesses to be more resource efficient and to get involved with this initiative and start exchanging”.

Speaking at the event, SMILE project manager, Michelle Green said, “We would encourage businesses to join us at the inaugural Dublin SMILE event in Croke Park on October 9th.  We want to help businesses identify resource exchange opportunities which could save businesses money as well as extending the life of materials which thus helps the environment by diverting waste from landfill.  A major focus of the events will also be to provide a large scale networking opportunity to allow businesses to identify new business opportunities from unwanted resources.

Dara Lynott, Deputy Director General, EPA, said, “Ireland needs to significantly increase its resource efficiency.  Many dynamic businesses have recognized the benefits of a more productive use of resources as it makes a lot of business sense.  We would encourage businesses to join the initiative to improve their competitiveness and profitability as we become a more resource-efficient, low-carbon economy.”

For further information on the SMILE Exchange Event in Croke Park on Tuesday, October 9th, please contact: 01 436 1864 / www.smileexchange.ie

SMILE is funded under the National Waste Prevention Programme set-up in 2004.

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