Athlone entrepreneur, Simon Ruddy, whose company, Diluteze, originated from a self desire to create a suite of environmentally aware products, has been selected to represent Ireland at the Global Climate LaunchPad awards in Edinburgh next weekend.
Founded in early 2018, Diluteze is developing products which will reduce the environmental impact of chemicals used in horticulture, facilities management, agriculture, industry and consumer markets.
Having spent over a decade working in the chemical industry, Simon, who presently resides in Lecarrow, observed significant new challenges facing both chemical manufacturers and employers in terms of increased health and safety risks for those working with chemicals and the downstream environmental effects of chemical products and upon these findings decided there were safer and more environmentally prudent ways to package, handle, dilute and dispense many of the chemicals we use in our daily lives including weed killers, detergents and industrial chemicals.
According to the local entrepreneur, one of the biggest challenges currently facing those working with potentially harmful chemicals whether in the workplace, home and garden, is the global shift to smaller pack sizes to facilitate reducing plastic packaging.
“The chemical industry is responsible for 3.4 million of the 78 million tonnes of plastic packaging generated globally each year and as in all business sectors, chemical manufacturers must demonstrate reductions in the volume of plastic packaging produced.
“This shift to smaller pack sizes has already resulted in an increase in chemical burn injuries, costing Irish employers close to €9m annually,” Simon commented.
The Diluteze founder noted that consumer uncertainty with regard to the mixing of chemicals could lead to potentially dangerous instances, noting that his budding business has developed a design method that can be added to a broad range of every day receptacles used in the home or workplace to dilute and dispense potentially harmful chemicals, such as Knapsack sprayers for the garden, mop buckets or IBCs in industry.
This design method ensures chemicals are diluted safely and accurately every time.
Presently working within Athlone IT to bring his product designs to the market, Simon acknowledges that location is an issue, with a lack of supporting mechanisms for start-ups, he believes, in the Midlands.
“We are planning to launch our first products in 2019 and will file initial patents applications in the coming months,” Simon enthused.
Diluteze plans to launch three versions of its product for the horticulture and facilities management market initially over the next three years, with a pipeline of 12 additional products up to 2027.
Simon, who is presently in talks with investors, received welcome news from Revenue that Diluteze meets the criteria for the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme which offers up to 40 percent tax relief to investors.
If adapted by chemical manufacturers, employers and consumers, Diluteze products could reduce the use of harmful chemicals by 500,000 litres every year, eliminate 38,000 tonnes of plastic packaging and 228,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, and significantly, reduce workplace accidents.