The world’s first Global Recycling Day was celebrated on 18 March 2018, at a global level. Global Recycling Day, an initiative of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), united people across the world by highlighting the need to conserve our six primary resources (water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals) and celebrating the power of the “Seventh Resource”- the goods we recycle. One of BIR’s key objectives is to promote recycling globally, showcasing its benefits to industry, policy makers and the wider community.
BIR said, “There is no doubt that year one of Global Recycling Day has definitely surpassed all expectations.” This was largely due to the industry supporters: Sims Metal Management, the Founding Sponsor; ISRI, the first National Association Partner, Fjällräven, the first Marketing Partner; and National Association Supporters including BDSV, BMR, BMRA, bvse, FEDEREC, IICA and VDM, said BIR in a press statement. “But Global Recycling Day first and foremost happened because of the vision and efforts of BIR President Ranjit Baxi. Thanks to this, a real movement has been ignited across the world.”
In Baxi’s view, the Global Recycling Day is a vitally important new date on the 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… 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,” he said.
Various events were held in Brussels, New Delhi, Dubai, Jaipur, Johannesburg, Lagos, London, Mongolia, Mumbai, Nepal, Paris, São Paulo, Sydney, Washington DC and many more cities where thousands of people become involved with the Seventh Resource message first hand by taking part in litter picks, educational programmes, community events, petition signings and more. Hundreds of photos and videos have been uploaded and shared on social media, said BIR. In London, Baxi was interviewed on Sky News (a five minute live interview), London Live and a four minute feature on the Conservative Party’s video news bulletin.
“Our petition continues to gather support – we have over 6730 signatures and have set new goals to hit 7500. The more we can gather, the greater the impact we can make in having this recognised as an official day in the UN calendar,” said BIR adding that their social media presence also continues to grow with more than 17,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook with 69,000 impressions. Some of the big brands and names worldwide have joined in, using #GlobalRecyclingDay to raise awareness of recycling, the circular economy and create their own campaigns. This includes Nestle Waters, UNIDO, Change.org, Veolia, L’Occitane, Semarnat, OC Florida, Greenpeace, Suez UK, Tetrapak, Fjällräven, Defra and many more. The organisation said this had ensured their message had spread even further.