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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 20 December, 2014

Someone’s come up with a fix for the ‘brown bin’ smell

Entrepreneurs will stock product in Dunnes Stores – but reckon it will be a hit export too.

TWO YOUNG IRISH women have come up with a solution to the stinky challenge of the ‘brown bin’ which is a feature in so many households.

There is a Government plan to roll out a new Household Food Waste directive with all 1.2 million households in Ireland to be required to segregate food waste from all other household waste by the end of 2016.

Not a bad idea if this food waste goes to compost but – as anyone with a compost heap or a brown bin already knows – the decaying food waste can cause quite the whiff as the bin/heap fills up.

Kate Cronin and Elizabeth Fingleton have just launched a new company, Obeo, to sell their compostable food waste box. The idea, they say, is to have the Obeo box on your kitchen counter – when it fills up within two to three days, you transfer it to your brown bin. Unlike traditional bags, the box is water-resistant and doesn’t drip when it comes to emptying the whole affair. It is compostable so breaks down along with the food waste.

This is their vision:


The bag/box will be stocked in Dunnes Stores (€3.75 for a pack of five) after the women worked on it for 18 months with the support of Enterprise Ireland, NCAD and NovaUCD.

One of the co-founders, Elizabeth Fingleton, said that they believed the 12-million-household-strong brown bin customer base in the UK will also be interested in their solution. “We plan to expand into the UK by the end of the year and we are currently in talks with a UK-based multiple,” she said.

Kate Cronin, 30, from Dublin, is a product designer, while Fingleton, 29, from Laois, is a chartered accountant and business graduate. Their product was part of the 2013 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme which helps UCD and NCAD researchers gain skills to help them lead the launch of a new venture. You can find out more about that programme here.

Opinion: How to make your home (or business!) more efficient and green>

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