rx3 – rethink recycle remake

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government commissioned RPS to implement the first Irish ‘circular economy programme’ demonstrating that new sustainable employment can be generated by closing the loop between industrial products transformed into new material markets.

The project was of key strategic importance to the development of the green economy and green enterprises in Ireland. rx3 proactively contributed to addressing key strategic areas including: environmental innovation and R&D, low carbon economy, green enterprise, green eonomy, and cooperation between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Key details

Project name
rx3 programme

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government

Dublin, Ireland

Services provided:

  • Resource management
  • Project communications


As this was the first circular economy project in Ireland, it presented a number of technical, communications and economic challenges. The programme had to be built from first principles to develop new information required to grow industries and reach a wide range of stakeholders and sectors.

Furthermore, due to the dramatic changes in the economic climate the original budget was significantly reduced and the necessity to focus on both job creation and value‐for‐money made it essential for the programme to undergo continual review and modification. However, the project’s overall purpose remained intact.

RPS remained adaptive through resourcefulness and innovation to deliver the programme and change mindsets from linear thinking to circular thinking.

rx3 - project image - shutterstock_Websize.png


The rx3 philosophy was based on creating an embedded culture whereby reusable and recyclable materials are immediately thought of as a resource that present an opportunity. This approach requires a lifecycle consideration of the materials and is epitomised by the slogan ‘rethink, recycle and remake’.

The focus of the programme was on paper, plastic and organic waste, as they accounted for two thirds of municipal waste generated in Ireland. Over the lifetime of the programme 41 initiatives were undertaken across:

  • Technical initiatives
  • Communications initiatives
  • Economic incentives

RPS worked in partnership with government, the EPA, Enterprise Ireland, and a wide range of industry, academic and commercial stakeholders to ensure that the initiatives taken during the programme were designed to meet identified needs to improve resource efficiency and find new ways of using increased levels of recycled materials in products.

The final report details the achievements of the programme.


Project statistics

Green Public Sector Award
at the 2013 Green Awards
increase in recycling rates from 2007 to 2014

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