October is National Reuse Month, and to help us play our part, Cork County Council and Cork City Council have launched an innovative circular economy initiative called Revive Paint, which involves the production of good quality, affordable paint by two Cork based social enterprises using paint which they collect from local authority civic amenity sites.
The social enterprises involved are Northside Community Enterprise (NCE) in Farranferris, Cork City and Cycle Sense based in Skibbereen.
The Revive Paint initiative, which is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Local Authority Prevention Network, tackles a significant problem waste stream in Ireland. In Cork city and county, up to 190 tonnes of paint are collected at civic amenity sites annually and are generally exported for treatment – at a cost to both councils and also potentially to the environment. Approximately 60% of this waste paint is water based, much of which could be reused and upcycled through Revive Paint.
The EPA funding has allowed the set-up of a paint reuse and upcycling system in each social enterprise as well as the training of staff. Each of the enterprises are now experienced in filtering, remixing, recolouring and repackaging the paint and are now producing a high quality paint to sell within their local communities. Since production began in June, the two social enterprises have diverted over 2.5 tonnes of paint from the wastestream to produce a quality paint.
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan is encouraging members of the public to embrace National Reuse Month throughout October and to consider buying more sustainable products such as Revive Paint. Mayor Coughlan praised both Social Enterprises highlighting how, “Revive Paint is such a great initiative and an example of how we should be looking more at the values of the past to solve today’s problems. Our parents and grandparents had a very practical approach to waste. They constantly looked at reusing things rather than throwing them away. Cycle Sense in Skibbereen is a wonderful role model as we rethink our attitude towards waste to protect our environment for future generations. As part of Revive Paint, both Cycle Sense and NCE are taking a waste product and restoring it into something beautiful that can be used in our homes and businesses. They are saving people money and helping the environment. I hope that this October, we all play our part in National Reuse Month by considering how we can make reuse part of our daily lives.”
Lord Mayor of Cork City Councillor Colm Kelleher added: “As well as helping to protect our environment by using paint from Revive Paint in your homes and businesses, you will be supporting two fantastic social enterprises who epitomize the circular economy at its very best. Both projects are also delivering for their local economy in terms of job creation and reducing the costs for individuals, community groups and businesses who are using the paint.
I have visited the mixing facility at NCE and have seen first hand the expertise, care and attention that goes into mixing the paint into a wide range of colours. It is wonderful to see this high quality, reasonably priced paint is now available for sale. NCE and Cycle Sense are getting fantastic feedback from happy customers and it’s great to see such social enterprises thriving with such strong support from their communities.”
The water based paint is available in a variety of colours and can be purchased through the NCE in Cork City and Cycle Sense in West Cork. For more information visit https://www.nce.ie/ or https://www.cyclesense.ie/.