A message from Ranjit S. Baxi on Global Recycling Day 2020

A message from Ranjit S Baxi, Founder and President of Global Recycling Foundation, on Global Recycling Day 2020  

Today marks the third annual Global Recycling Day, a day that takes place every 18th March to recognise the contribution recycling industry makes to the long term sustainability of our planet.  Even in times as uncertain as the ones we are facing right now, environmental impact and our role in mitigating it, has to be a global priority.   This year the theme of Global Recycling Day has been Recycling Heroes, as we look to champion the difference we each, as individuals in our communities, can make to world around us.

Recycling and the climate emergency are some of the most pressing issues the world has ever faced. It’s rubbish when we don’t recycle – the world must think ‘resource not waste’ and protect the future of our planet. Climate change, is a real and present issue with increasing deforestation, drought, displaced populations and rising sea levels set to impact rural and urban economies.

The contribution that recyclers and the recycling industry makes, which is projected to save over a billion tons of CO2 emissions by 2030, whilst also delivering several of the UN SDGs, needs now to be part of the global climate change movement.  We all need to work together – across the planet in developed and developing regions– to build a cleaner, more sustainable and greener planet if we are to provide for the future of our children.

Although today is a day to focus on recycling, the Global Recycling Foundation wants us to recycle year round, to use and reuse the goods we surround ourselves with every day, and to let the earth preserve as many of her primary resources as we can. Today is a day to make a change, to promise to be as responsible with our resources as we can, and to be inspired by those men and women who are leading the way, and to follow in their footsteps.

Let today be the day you pledge to become one of our Recycling Heroes.

Cities across the world are preparing for Global Recycling Day 2020

Global Recycling Day is fast approaching on Wednesday 18th March 2020 and across the world, there are already individuals and organisations planning a host of activities and celebrations on the day. These events will all help in raising awareness of the importance of recycling and the ways in which we can all turn ‘waste’ into a valuable resource.

From educational talks in schools to beach clean-ups and performances for local communities, there are a wide range of events taking place. If you’re looking to get involved in Global Recycling Day, below is a list of just some of the worldwide events set to take place on 18th March (or after).  If you are running your own event, please let us know at info@globalrecyclingfoundation.org, and don’t forget to share on social media using #GlobalRecyclingDay and #RecyclingHeroes.

Abuja, Nigeria – Pick That Trash

Pick That Trash, an operational NGO focused on the environment, will be promoting recycling in schools. On 18th March 2020 Pick That Trash will visit the Government Secondary School, Maitama, FCT. Nigeria. Additionally, on 21st March 2020 Pick That Trash will visit Mosquito Village, Dakibiu, Jabi Upstair. FCT. Nigeria. The organisation is also planning clean-up activities to mark Global Recycling Day. Find out more at @pickthattrash.

Bahrain – eBin Company

On 18th and 19th March 2020, eBin Company in Bahrain is celebrating Global Recycling Day by promoting recycling, sustainable cleaning products and disinfectants, zerowaste products, compost solutions and sustainable drinking water solutions. Find out more at: www.instagram.com/ebincompany/

Bath and North East Somerset, UK

Bath and North East Somerset Council is inviting local residents to a series of events on 18th March where people can find out tips and tricks to help save the environment. These talks will take place across libraries in Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton and the Bath Cloth Nappy Library will be on hand to help parents and carers with making the switch from disposables. Find out more at: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk

Belfast, Northern Ireland – Cap Arts Centre

On 21st March 2020, Cap Arts Centre in Belfast will be organising a show to celebrate Global Recycling Day. This will include poetry, dance, music and fashion. Find out more at: https://www.capartscentre.com/

Bhubaneswar, India – National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) & Youth for Sustainable Impact

Youth for Sustainable Impact is partnering with the National Institute of Fashion Technology in India to celebrate Global Recycling Day on both 18th and 19th March. There will be school tours, awareness programmes and a competition for students to create products from waste by recycling them (the best product will win a cash prize and will be up for sale).

Bristol, UK – AECOM

AECOM, an international infrastucure firm, is celebrating Global Recycling Day by showcasing a documentary called ‘A Plastic Tide’, supplying plastic-free refreshments and conducting a waste audit of the bins around the office.

Bulgaria – BG Be Active

BG Be Active, an organisation dedicated to positive social change sustainbile development in Bulgaria, is starting a national campaign and organising local events in several Bulgarian cities together with local grassroot organisations to promote recycling on March 18th. Find out more at: www.bgbeactive.org/global-recycling-day-bulgaria/

Dubai, UAE – Bureau of Middle East Recycling (BMR)

BMR will be marking Global Recycling Day by reaching out to local schools across Dubai, educating school children on the importance of recycling for a sustainable planet. BMR has chosen four schools to educate and will be tree planting in one of Dubai’s industrial districts.

Johannesburg, South Africa – Department of Environmental Affairs

The Department of Environmental Affairs is organising activations to celebrate Global Recycling Day in Orange Farm, Johannesburg. There will be a march with school children highlighting illegal waste dumping and, in the lead up to the march, work completed by Lesedi la Kreste Primary School in Orange Farm will be showcased. Pupils have also created eco-bricks from 2L PET bottles and filled them with waste material. These eco bricks will be used to build school benches.

There will also be a clean-up campaign in one of the areas close to the school on Global Recycling Day. Once the area has been cleaned up it will become a vegetable garden for the local community.

Lagos, Nigeria – U-Recycle Initiative

This year, U-Recycle Initiative is organising a press conference on 18th March 2020 from 7.30am – 8.30am at the National Stadium in Lagos. This will be followed by an awareness walk to mark Global Recycling Day from 10am – 2pm, which will start at the National Stadium in Lagos.

On Thursday 19th March, U-Recycle Initiative will be doing a tour of three local schools in Lagos, with the aim of giving talks to educate them on recycling. Find out more at: www.urecycleinitiative.org.

Middleburg, South Africa

Global Recycling Foundation Ambassador Ilse Botha, also an environmental and sustainability consultant based in Middleburgh, is organising a host of activities to celebrate Global Recycling Day. This includes:

  • A Global Recycling Day night race for students at Kanonkop High School
  • A video on recycling to be shown to students at Kanonkop High School
  • Sponsorship of recycling bins for Gansiekeur Pre-Primary School and Hoër Tegniese Skool Middelburg

Oxford, UK – Sobell House Hospice

In recognition of Global Recycling Day, Oxford Instruments is asking staff members to donate one item every day in March to sell in Sobell House Hospice shops. As well as helping the local hospice raise funds, this initiative also helps with local recycling. To find out more or get involved, please call 01865 857066.

Paris, France – FEDEREC

FEDEREC is running a poster competition for schools to take part in, with finalists work showcased in the Gallerie MR14 in Paris on 18th March 2020.

Portsmouth, UK – Portsmouth Music Hub

Portsmouth Music Hub has written a dedicated #RecyclingHeroes song for local children to sing on Global Recycling Day. This will be filmed and shared across their social media channels. They are also planning a Recycling Rumba.

South Yorkshire, UK – Danieli Centro Recycling

Danieli Centro Recycling in South Yorkshire is holding a ‘plogging’ (jogging and litter-picking) event in conjunction with Wales High School, Kiveton Park, to celebrate Global Recycling Day. Pupils will also have the chance to visit the Danieli Centro Recycling headquarters for an ‘Engineering in Action’ session.

Tamale, Ghana – Ec-learn

The start-up Ec-learn, uses the theme of recycling to support children and orphans with their learning. This includes allowing children to make recycled crafts and teaching the them life skills. On Global Recycling Day, Ec-learn will be launching its first ever ‘creative space’ for children at an orphanage and school in Tamale, Ghana. Find out more at https://twitter.com/ec_learn.

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – The Asia Foundation

On 18 March 2020, The Asia Foundation will be launching eight videos on the theme of recycling, including disposing of medicines correctly and re-using plastics and wood scraps.

The Asia Foundation will also be organising a one-month recycling challenge for its staff, where people are encouraged to bring recyclables from home. Find out more at: https://asiafoundation.org/

Washington, USA – Ranier Apparel

Ranier Apparel is organising a beach clean-up for locals on 21st March 2020 at the Purdy Sand Spit from 11am – 1pm. The aim is to collect as much waste and rubbish from the beach and dispose of it correctly. Find out more at: www.mandizmatter.com

As well as plenty of activations across the world, the following organisations kindly supported the Global Recycling Foundation’s #RecyclingHeroes competition:

  • Bureau of International Recycling (BIR)
  • Dutch Embassy
  • Inland Importers and Consumers Association (ICCA)
  • Exposucata – Brazil
  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) – Washington D.C. USA
  • BMRA – UK

To find out more about how you can get involved in this year’s Global Recycling Day, please contact info@globalrecyclingfoundation.org.

Recycling versus climate change

Last month, residents of fire-threatened Narooma in New South Wales began to leave their recycling bins outside their houses. This was in an effort to show who had evacuated the town and who remained. From a firefighter’s point of view, the sight of a recycling bin on the pavement in Narooma meant that the house behind it was occupied, and people within may need rescuing from the flames.

However, there was another, more symbolic purpose to the ‘fire bin’ signal. Australia’s recent and devastating bushfires are just one symptom of the current climate crisis. Many in New South Wales (and all over the world) are calling for direct action to be taken to combat the climate emergency. Recycling is one of the most direct, achievable, and effective ways of combatting climate change. Using recycling bins in this way during the fires sent a clear symbolic message: we need to change the way we treat the planet.

It is important that we don’t underestimate the importance of recycling in the climate change debate. There is a lot of discussion around climate change focusing on direct emissions. Due to this, the aviation industry gets a lot of attention. And that’s not wrong, but we should also be focusing on our quick-fix, throwaway consumer culture. Changing our attitudes towards waste could make a massive difference to the state of the climate.

For example, the fashion industry alone produces 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions annually. So, something as simple as mending, re-cycling, or up-cycling garments could take millions of tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere. And this isn’t a standalone example.

Studies have shown that landfill and deforestation are responsible for 25% of all greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Plastics are an even bigger problem. If we continue to create and discard plastics at our current rate then, by 2050, emissions from the plastics industry could reach more than 2.75 billion tons per year. The primary purposes of deforestation and plastic production is to create new resources. If we become better at re-using and repurposing the resources we already have, we could make a huge difference to the climate emergency.

Climate change is not yet irreversible, but we’re at a tipping point. With Australia on fire, much of Britain underwater, and scientists warning of severe climate events for decades to come, it’s time to take direct action against our climate emergency. And no action is more direct than recycling.

Two weeks to go until Global Recycling Day 2020

In just two weeks, on the 18th March, the world will be celebrating Global Recycling Day 2020. Governments, organisations, communities and individuals all over the world will be coming together to celebrate and raise awareness of the Seventh Resource.

Global Recycling Day is an initiative by the Global Recycling Foundation which aims to raise awareness not only on the importance of recycling, but also to highlight just how valuable a resource ‘waste’ actually is. Through innovative recycling and upcycling practices, #RecyclingHeroes worldwide are making incredible use of resources which may otherwise have been discarded – and saving the planet in the process.

Global Recycling Day 2020 arrives at a time of global crisis, with the climate facing unprecedented emergencies and humanity finally admitting that we’re struggling to undo what’s been done. At a time like this, highlighting the importance and potential of recycling is vital. But it’s also important to celebrate how far we’ve come towards a better, healthier planet.

The Global Recycling Foundation has chosen 2020 to award $1000 and worldwide promotion to ten #RecyclingHeroes who go above and beyond in their recycling efforts. There have been some wonderful, inspiring, and very innovative entries so far, and there’s still time for the public to nominate their own #RecyclingHeroes. Nominators must be quick about it, though. The competition closes on the 8th March – in just five days.

Whether you’re making a huge impact as a big organisation or simply being diligent with your home recycling, you can be a #RecyclingHero. The smallest efforts sometimes make the biggest difference. #RecyclingHeroes aims to celebrate the world’s unsung heroes who are going that extra mile for the planet.

There will be events taking place all over the world to celebrate the day – from seminars to exhibitions and school talks, there are hundreds of ways to participate in Global Recycling Day. Our website contains ideas for those who want to put on their own event. Education providers can also find resource packs which can help teachers to plan fun and inspiring lessons around the theme of recycling.

Over the next two weeks, as Global Recycling Day approaches, we would like people to consider how they can help the world to improve its recycling practices. Whether it’s sharing recycling content, throwing a Global Recycling Day event, or simply vowing to be more diligent about separating the recycling at home, it all has an impact.