DIT Product Design students feature prominently in Trash to Cash awards


Minister Hogan presenting the certificate for Third Prize to Mark McGuinness

4th May 2011

Four DIT Product design students were among ten entrants shortlisted for the 2011 Trash to Cash awards recently held in the Science Gallery, Trinity College.  Trash to Cash is a nationwide competition for undergraduate students to develop new product ideas which promote sustainability through recycling and upcycling, sponsored by the Department of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government through its Market Development Group, rx3 (“rethink remake recycle”).

The Awards were announced by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr Phil Hogan T.D. Joint First Prize of €1,250 each went to Nick Barker from Dublin for SKIP, a skipping rope made from recycled plastic bottles and to Padraig Doyle, GMIT, Letterfrack for Waste Share Chair made of Birch veneer sourced from spacers on pallets found in retail packaging waste. 

Third Prize of €500 was awarded to Mark McGuinness of DIT’s Product Design programme for Strapped for Cash, a wallet manufactured from recycled car seat belts, a material which is currently unrecyclable and so sent to landfill.  Minister Hogan commented: “Innovation and research, creativity and enthusiasm have to be the basis on which our economy recovers. I am delighted to see these positive traits in abundance amongst our graduate entrants for the Trash to cash competition”.

As part of the day an Unplugged Session was hosted which included a number of industry experts who spoke on the value of working with sustainable materials including Mark Finnegan, Ikea, Adam De Eyto, Industrial Design Lecturer, Carlow, Chris Baker, Terracycle, one of the big global upcycling success stories and Vodafone Ireland

John Lawlor, Head of School, DIT School of Manufacturing and Design Engineering, said “I am inspired to see the students’ products here today, each of which display such creative and novel thinking in sustainable design, an area which is so crucial to all our futures.  On a personal note, it is very satisfying to see our students performing strongly in national awards and showing that they can be among the leaders in this field in the future”.

Currently, Ireland exports nearly 1,247,299 tonnes (or 73%) of the paper, plastics, glass, rubber, metals, clothing collected for recycling that could be turned into quality new products, services or processes here in Ireland. To learn more about rx3’s work, visit www.rx3.ie


Shortlisted DIT students, from left Henry Daly, Niall O Lochlainn, Mark Mc Guinness and Jack Healy, pictured with John Lawlor, Head of School of Manufacturing and Design Engineering, DIT, and lecturers Pearl O’Rourke and John Walsh


Mark McGuinness pictured with his wallet Strapped for Cash

Back to Top