Over 80% savings & less waste in new pilot collaboration project where Sligo paves the way for change at National level
Sligo Community Meal on Wheels Network are delighted to launch an exciting new pilot scheme which will significantly reduce the use of single meal trays on an annual basis. County Sligo Leader Partnership Company made funding available to IT Sligo Contract Research Unit (CRU) to explore and develop a suitable alternative to high volume of single trays used in the services throughout County Sligo. IT Sligo’s CRU carried out a feasibility study of potential reusable, recyclable and compostable meal containers and helped organise the pilot scheme.
Co. Sligo Leader Partnership Company are committed to supporting and exploring new initiatives which will contribute in a positive way to reducing single use containers and delivery more environmentally friendly practices in social enterprises in County Sligo. This project is a very practical example of how we can lead change within the county.
Sligo has four community meal on wheels enterprises in the county, CLASP, Banada Development Association, Easkey Community Council and Sligo Social Services. Throughout COVID the Meal on Wheel service was a vital lifeline to many older and vulnerable people living in Sligo town and wider county. This new pilot initiative is a perfect example of a partnership approach in how companies can work together and solve a real practical problem like cutting back on the amount of packaging we use within our enterprises. Importantly, the cost savings are over 80% as the plates cost less and are recyclable up to 6 years.
At national level Irish Rural Link has established a National Meal on Wheel network (https://www.irishrurallink.ie/meals-on-wheels-network/) of community providers and it is hoped once the pilot scheme is rolled out in Sligo we can bring the project to a national level and be a leader in progressing a quality product which will significantly reduce operating costs for the services and positively impact on the environment and climate change.
The CRU in IT Sligo is now seeking funding to work with Irish manufacturing companies to produce a bespoke reusable meal container and also to project manage the roll out the reusable container nationwide to the 244 Meals on Wheels services.