Cork County Council Announces Circular Economy Fund to Combat Single Use Plastics

A green reusable metal water bottle, a red reusable metal water bottle and a red resuable coffee mug all with the Cork County logo placed on a sports pitch with the 'Circular Economy Fund' logo placed in front of them.

Cork County Council has launched a new Circular Economy Fund with the aim of empowering local action to drive a more circular economy. The fund aims to support communities to move away from the traditional linear ‘take-make-use-dispose’ model towards more circular living where resources are reused or recycled, reducing wastage. 

The inaugural theme focuses on the reduction of single-use plastics by  inviting schools, community groups, sports clubs, and festivals to submit proposals aimed at minimising single use plastics. Single-use plastics pose a significant threat to our environment, contributing to pollution in our oceans and harming wildlife. By taking proactive steps to eliminate these plastics, Cork County Council is committed supporting a cleaner, greener future for our community.

The fund builds on the successful engagement between the Council and communities in recent years, which has seen 35 water refill stations installed in schools and community buildings across Cork County, as well as mobile hydration stations piloted at events.  With an increasing demand from the public to reduce single use plastics and a desire from communities to act, this fund will support the installation of temporary or permanent water refill stations in schools, community buildings, sports clubs and at festivals, reducing the environmental impacts of single use plastics.  

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn welcomed the launch of the fund saying, 

As a community, we have a responsibility to reduce our reliance on single use plastics and embrace sustainable alternatives. By launching the Circular Economy Fund, Cork County Council is empowering local organisations to make a positive impact on the environment while promoting the principles of a circular economy.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Valerie O’Sullivan noted,

Valerie O'Sullivan

Chief Executive

Cork County Council Headquarters, County Hall, Carrigrohane Road, Cork, Ireland. Eircode: T12 R2NC.

We know that moving away from single use and fostering a culture of reuse can have a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions and positively impacting climate.  This fund is a good example of the practical action we are taking to support communities, while achieving the objectives set out in our recently launched Climate Action Plan.  I would encourage eligible groups to join us on the circular economy journey.

Applications for the Circular Economy Fund are now open until Thursday the 25th of April at 5:00pm. Eligible applicants in the Cork County Council administrative area include schools, community groups, sports clubs, festivals and events. Commercial, for-profit bodies will not be eligible. Only applications addressing the single use plastics theme will be assessed in the 2024 Fund, the ambition is to focus on a wider range of circular themes in future years. 

For further information and to apply, click the link below or contact the Council’s Environmental Awareness Office at or (021) 4532700.