10 November 2018
By Bryan Smyth
The month of October heralded the return of National Reuse Month and the return to Leeside of the second annual Reuse Republic exhibition at Cork County Hall. Building on the success of last year’s event, the exhibition on Wednesday October 31st was a veritable celebration of reuse, re-imagination and creativity, signalling a very definite desire for increased reuse, recycling and more sustainable businesses in Cork.
A collaboration between SMILE Resource Exchange and Cork County Council, Reuse Republic brought together some of Cork’s best upcyclers, reuse initiatives and eco businesses. With an underlying message of Everyday Reuse, Reuse Republic aimed to showcase just a snapshot of the businesses, support organisations and initiatives working in the reuse sector locally and indeed across the country.
Opening the event, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy said, “I am delighted to see so many exhibitors here today leading the way both in Cork and nationally. Their work and commitment to diverting waste from landfill and increasing the reuse of materials, drives us towards a more sustainable and circular economy. I know our Environment Section in Cork County Council were very pleased to once again collaborate with the SMILE programme to bring you this wonderful exhibition.”
Reuse Republic was one of a series of events and campaigns taking place during October Reuse Month; a national initiative aimed at promoting reuse and repair. The exhibition was a lively, colourful mix of commercial reuse opportunities, support organisations and community focused initiatives in Cork.
Exhibitors participating at the event included eco-businesses such as Ecocel, The Baby Markets, The Front Porch, Twig Refill Store, Sue Gifford Design, Hanna’s Bee Wraps and The Upcycle Movement demonstrating the real possibilities of creating a sustainable business through the medium of reuse. The event also welcomed a selection of initiatives focusing on reuse including Boomerang, Circular Ocean, IRD Duhallow Furniture Revamp, Macroom Mens Shed, Netmap and the Rediscovery Centre. While National sustainability programmes such as Community Reuse Network Ireland, FoodCloud, the Conscious Cup Campaign, GreenBusiness.ie, Repak, RepairMyStuff.ie, Refill Ireland, Recycle List Ireland, SMILE, Stop Food Waste, the Southern Waste Management Region and WEEE Ireland exemplified how small changes can have a big impact for the future of our environment.
The youngest exhibitors on the day were 11 year old brothers Oscar and Noah Wilson of “The Not So Perfect Carrot” – an enterprise built on the idea that you don’t have to be perfect to make a difference in the world. The boys designed an illustration of a wonky carrot which is displayed on merchandise including pen holders, notebooks and recycled frames with 100% of the profits going to animal welfare charities.
Pauline McDonogh, Waste Prevention Officer for the Southern Region Waste Management Office who exhibited at the event said, “The Southern Region Waste Management Office was delighted to participate in Reuse Republic again in 2018. Events such as this that promote everyday reuse are vitally important in helping citizens to make changes that reduce the quantity of waste created and that keep resources in use for longer. There were so many displays and inspiring ideas throughout the day and Reuse Republic brought Reuse Month 2018 to a fantastic close”.