Get ready for Global Recycling Day on 18 March
The first ever Global Recycling Day, to be held on 18 March 2018 (the 70th anniversary of the Bureau of International Recycling, or BIR), is intended to unite people across the world, highlighting the need to conserve the Earth’s primary resources. The initiative is the brainchild of BIR President Ranjit Baxi, who announced his vision for a day dedicated to recycling at his presidential inauguration in 2015.
The event aims to build a global approach towards recycling, calling on world leaders, international businesses, communities and individuals to make clear commitments in their approach to recycling. Consumers are also being asked to ask themselves some key questions about recycling, so we can all help conserve our six primary resources — water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals — and celebrate the power of the newly termed ‘Seventh Resource’ — recyclables.
Cities around the world have already begun announcing their plans for the day. On 18 March 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 Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) France’s Headquarters in Paris to raise awareness of the need to utilise the world’s Seventh Resource on 15 March. There will be similar events on Capitol Hill in Washington DC and Sao Paolo on 16 March.
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. And at the head office of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) in Sydney, over 50 academics and industry experts will gather to discuss cross-sector collaborations. Both these events are taking place on 16 March.
The event will encourage individuals to pledge to make at least one change to their recycling habits, as well as asking them to sign BIR’s petition calling for the day to be recognised by the United Nations. Global Recycling Day T-shirts and frisbees will be handed out at events across the world — the former made of sustainably sourced, organic cotton, the latter made from recycled plastic. Both items 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, showcasing how central recycling is to our day-to-day life.
“To truly harness the power of recycling we must adopt a global approach to its collection, processing and use,” said Baxi. “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.
“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.”
To learn more about the day and sign the petition asking for world leaders to take a united approach towards recycling, visit www.globalrecyclingday.com.
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