Cities across the world are announcing their plans to celebrate the inaugural Global Recycling Day. The initiative from the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) will call on the world to think "resource" not "waste" when it comes to recycling and encourage people to think of recycling in a new way. On the 18th March 2018 in London, the Global Recycling Day team will showcase the scale of what is possible, by using large bundles of recycled materials at a central location. The Federation of Recycling Enterprises (FEDEREC) will hold a press conference at World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) France's Headquarters in Paris to raise awareness of the need to utilise the world's Seventh Resource on Thursday March 15th. There will be similar events on Capitol Hill in Washington DC and Sao Paolo for Global Recycling Day on March 16th.
In Johannesburg, Global Recycling Day's Manifesto will be launched along with a public clean-up campaign with the help of the Catholic Diocese and the City of Johannesburg. At the head office of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) in Sydney, over 50 academics and industry experts will gather to recognise Global Recycling Day and discuss cross sector collaborations. Both events are taking place ahead of the Day itself on March 16th.
These events will encourage individuals to pledge to make at least one change to their recycling habits (see below), as well as asking them to sign BIR's petition calling for the day to be recognised by the United Nations. To help the message spread and highlight the importance of a global approach to recycling to world leaders, Global Recycling Day t-shirts and Frisbees will be handed out at events across the world. The t-shirts are sustainably sourced and made from organic cotton and, in the spirit of the Day, the Frisbees are made from recycled plastic and both t-shirts and Frisbees can be recycled at their end of life.
On social media, supporters of the day will be encouraged to use #GlobalRecyclingDay and adopt an exclusive Global Recycling Day border to their profile picture. People are also being invited to share videos and images of recycling actions and celebrations. The aim is to showcase how central recycling is to our day to day life - whether it's working with local recycling businesses or making personal recycling commitments.
BIR President Ranjit Baxi said: "The world's first Global Recycling Day is a vitally important new date in our global calendar. To truly harness the power of recycling we must adopt a global approach to its collection, processing and use. It is time we put the planet first and all commit to spend 10 more minutes a day ensuring that materials are disposed of properly. It is a joint responsibility, not one of the few and I look forward to seeing individuals, communities, businesses and leaders joining us and celebrating the Day on 18th March.
"Global Recycling Day is also a wakeup call to all of us, wherever we live. We must unite with those involved in the industry - from workers on waste mountains to the world's largest businesses - to help them to make the best use of what we dispose of, to make recycling easier, inherent even in the design of products, and to stop expecting countries to simply accept Recyclables which are difficult and costly to process."
The Seven Golden Rules of Recycling
1. Be single-use-plastic aware - reduce and recycle
2. Learn, and follow, local recycling regulations
3. Prevent contamination of recyclable materials
4. Mend, repair and reuse
5. Be a recycling-aware shopper
6. Make the effort to recycle electronics
7. Reduce our individual waste-footprint
Global Recycling Day is an initiative of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR). BIR is the global federation of the recycling industry, representing the interests of the global industry. One of BIR's key objectives is to promote recycling globally - showcasing its benefits to industry, policy makers and the wider community.
2018 marks the 70th anniversary of BIR (indeed 18th March is its 70th birthday), a landmark year in which to create a day which recognised the vital role recycling and the industry plays in protecting the planet.
The first ever Global Recycling Day will unite people across the world, highlighting the need to conserve our six primary resources (water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals) and celebrating the power of the newly termed "Seventh Resource"- the goods we recycle every day. The new initiative is the brain child of Ranjit Baxi, who announced his vision for a day dedicated to recycling at the inauguration of his Presidency at BIR's 2015 Dubai Convention.
Global Recycling Day will be a day of action, aimed at building a global approach towards recycling, calling on world leaders, international businesses, communities and individuals to make seven clear commitments in their approach to recycling. Consumers are also being asked to ask themselves some key questions about recycling, to think of it in a new way.