Global Recycling Foundation announces ten #RecyclingHeroes

Today marks the third annual Global Recycling Day, with individuals, businesses, cities and communities coming together on social media, in their homes, and in their communities to celebrate the power of the Seventh Resource. The arrival of Global Recycling Day 2020 also means that the time has finally come for us to announce the winners of our #RecyclingHeroes competition. Each of our ten winners has won a $1,000 prize, to thank them for their commitment and innovation in local recycling.

Since February we have been accepting nominations for our #RecyclingHeroes competition, encouraging people from all over the world to put forward individuals, businesses and communities that are leading the way with their recycling initiatives.

We have now selected ten #RecyclingHeroes, chosen from thousands of nominations from all around the world and all walks of life, from Asia to Africa. Each of these ten winners will receive a $1,000 prize to contribute to their recycling initiative, and we will promote their good work to audiences across the world.


Plogging Club – Nigeria 

A movement inspiring young people across Nigerian campuses to take action for the climate through exercise that combines jogging with picking up litter and recyclables.

Reform Africa – Uganda

Tackles waste disposal by transforming plastic waste into sustainable, waterproof and durable bags, employing youth to collect the plastic waste, and single mothers who wash and tailor the products.

U-Recycle – Nigeria

A youth-led non-profit organisation working to promote a circular economy in Nigeria through reinforcing a sustainable recycling culture, investing time and resources into educating schools and communities about the value of recycling.

Zizo Ezi Foundation – South Africa

A non-profit organisation that operates in South Africa in the Eastern Cape and works with school children in rural areas teaching them on the benefits, as well as the do’s and don’ts regarding a clean eco future in South Africa.

Anuya Trivedi, Founder of Greenbuddies – India

An organisation that creates eco-designed, cost effective ‘Recycled Play Stations’ for children out of tyres and other reusable scraps.

Aribe Bajwa, Founder of Youth Social Ambassadors – Pakistan

A youth-based organisation working towards community empowerment and specifically towards environmental causes, including planting 300,000 plus trees and providing training and awareness sessions on conservation of environment at different institutions.

Made by TREID – Philippines 

Made by TREID extends the life consumption of old clothes and uniforms to reduce environmental waste by transforming them into higher valued products such as multifunctional and fashionable shoes and bags, home accessories and new fabric, while also providing job opportunities to disadvantaged people.

Ecolana – Mexico

A social impact company focused on inclusive recycling practices in Mexico. On the one hand it is a digital platform with a recycling guide (a map and a waste-materials dictionary) that guides consumers on how and where to recycle, and on the other it helps consumer brands develop recycling programmes.

Cappabue National School – Ireland

This small school in Cork is raising awareness of climate change with their viral rap video ‘One Small Change’, a response to polluted beaches in Co Cork.

Nick Oettinger, Managing Director and Founder of The Furniture Recycling Group – UK

The TFR Group is helping to tackle the UK’s mattress landfill problem, diverting 400,000 mattresses away from landfills each year. The company has recycled more than 1.5m mattresses since launching, and is continually investing in research to make the recycling of mattresses more viable and much more efficient.


It has been a pleasure reading everyone’s incredible submissions, and it was no easy task choosing the winners – there are hundreds of entrants who could have been chosen. In the coming days, 100 #RecyclingHeroes from all over the world will also be recognised, to celebrate the work of the unsung and local heroes in the recycling industry globally.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who got involved in the #RecyclingHeroes competition. We are proud to recognise the world’s unsung #RecyclingHeroes, from children, schools, teachers and professionals to businesses and communities, and everyone in-between. Global Recycling Day allows everyone to play their part in the circular economy, help protect our natural resources and build a better future for generations to come. Anyone can be a #RecyclingHero.


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