More than 13,000 jobs could be created if Northern Ireland moved to a circular economy

30th September 2015

More than 13,000 jobs could be created if Northern Ireland moved to a circular economy, according to a new report launched this week.

Entitled “Job Creation in the Circular Economy – Increasing Resource Efficiency in Northern Ireland”, the report reveals that jobs could be created at various skill levels across Northern Ireland and within a number of sectors, including food and drink, biorefining and the bioeconomy. The role of renewable energy and smart energy grids in enabling development of manufacturing is also a key factor for achieving greater traction in realising job growth potential.

The report aims to encourage wider understanding of the potential of the circular economy for jobs growth, stimulating action to create the means by which the CE can fully support the economic aims for Northern Ireland.

Produced by the ReNEW network, in conjunction with charity WRAP, the report will be launched today in Belfast (Wednesday 30 September).

Commenting on the report Environment Minister Mr Mark H Durkan said: “Building a circular economy is a win-win for the economy and the environment.

“It makes sense to keep our natural resources in use for as long as possible through recovery, reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling.

“This benefits the environment and can also drive economic growth by unlocking millions of pounds worth of value from materials used in key sectors in Northern Ireland which can drive economic growth. By departing from our traditional economic model of ‘make, use and dispose,’ we will be less vulnerable to dwindling natural resources, and increased price instability and energy costs.

“We must work together, across government, and in partnership with business and the community, to ensure that the North is geared up to exploit the exciting opportunities afforded by a circular economy.”

Notes to Editors:

The £5 million ReNEW project (Resource innovation Network for European Waste), brings together researchers, public authorities and businesses in North West Europe to explore new ways to extract valuable resources - such as metal, nutrients and chemicals - from households and industrial waste.

Funded by the European Regional Development through INTERREG IVB “Investing in opportunities” (ref. 317J-RENEW),  the ReNEW project is led by the QUESTOR Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, with partners in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium and Germany.

1. WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership with governments, businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, communities and individuals looking for practical advice to improve resource efficiency that delivers both economic and environmental benefits. @WRAP_UK

2. Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through: 

a. re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,

b. re-thinking how we use and consume products, and

c. re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling.

3. First established in 2000, WRAP is a registered charity.  WRAP works with UK governments and other funders to help deliver their policies on waste prevention and resource efficiency.  WRAP is a registered Charity No 1159512 and registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No 4125764. Registered office at Second Floor, Blenheim Court, 19 George Street, Banbury, Oxon, OX16 5BH.


Ian Palmer

PR Officer, WRAP
01295 819 677