CRNI welcomes the holistic approach to the new Rural Development Plan, Our Rural Future, which ties together climate, social, circular economy and a wide range of other Government policies.
Our members’ social reuse, repair and recycling enterprises support a wide variety of jobs and skills and are distributed throughout our rural communities. They contribute to local economies and communities by keeping the value of goods locally, building resilience, providing inclusive training opportunities and making available affordable household goods amongst other things.
We are therefore pleased to see measures included in the Plan that can support such enterprises to grow and thrive, particularly expanding the use of socially responsible public procurement contracts, measures to revitalise town centres and the development of a pilot bicycle up-cycling initiative. This initiative, which will not only creat jobs but will also harness the potential of greenways, is an excellent example of joining the dots between transport, tourism, climate action, and the social and circular economies. Broader measures to support the development of Social Enterprises in rural areas and revitalise town centres will also provide opportunities for diverse, inclusive and innovative circular activities.
Reuse, repair and recycling offer great potential for rural Ireland in supporting jobs and a Just Transition to a climate neutral society. We look forward to working within the Plan to help realise this potential.