There were scenes of celebration in Ballymun’s Rediscovery Centre yesterday as it was announced that participants from ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development Programme had won not just the Irish EcoStep Design Competition, but the Overall International Competition too.
The growing uptake and interest in environmental initiatives such as the ‘Bike to Work Scheme’ has been incredibly positive for Dublin, but one downside has been an increase in tyre waste and a lack of options for repurposing tyres here in the city.
The young designers from ECO-UNESCO recognised this issue and in response, began to work on creating a public bench made from used tyres that were destined for the scrap heap. The result was a bench that sits two people comfortably and is constructed from just two materials; plastic lumber for the frame and recycled bicycle tyres for the seat.
Commenting on the win, ECO-UNESCO’s National Director Elaine Nevin had the following to say:
‘’We are incredibly proud of the achievements of our young people from our Youth for Sustainable Development programme - they have put a huge amount of work into the project and this is a testament to the creativity and innovation of young people in coming up with environmental solutions.”
The EcoStep initiative is co-funded by the European Union’s Erasmus + Programme. Its purpose is to raise awareness for and find solutions to the social and environmental problems that are currently facing Europe’s young people.
The winning group will now get to take part in an all-expenses paid trip to the EU Parliament courtesy of Lynn Boylan, MEP. During their visit, they’ll have the opportunity to meet with other NGO groups to discuss environmental issues and debate potential solutions.