The President of Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), Ranjit Baxi, has said the benefits of recycling are immense.
Baxi, who spoke last Sunday, in London, the United Kingdom, during the first-ever “Global Recycling Day”, noted that the recycling industry provides two million jobs; saves 70 million tons of carbon emissions annually; reduces waste; promotes health and hygiene, and is projected to add $400 billion to the global gross domestic product by 2025.
According to the BIR President, because recycling plays such a crucial role in the preservation of the planet, this necessitated the coming together of stakeholders on Global Recycling Day to showcase the work already being done and to discuss what else can be done.
The aim of the Global Recycling Day, which coincides with the BIR’s 70th anniversary, is to unite people across the world, highlight the need to conserve the six primary resources (water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals) and celebrate what is described as “the Seventh Resource” – the materials man recycle every day.
“The goal for Global Recycling Day is to show the world that there is a Seventh Resource, as economically viable as, and more sustainable than, the six key primary resources: air, water, oil, natural gas, minerals and coal. Recycling is a global issue, the environment is a global issue and this day celebrates that and pushes us all – wherever we live – to do more. March 18, 2018, marks the 70th anniversary of BIR, making 2018 a landmark year to create a day that recognises the vital role recycling and the industry plays in protecting the planet,” Baxi said.
In addition to being a day for encouraging and promoting recycling, Global Recycling Day also serves as a day of action, according to the BIR. On March 18, world leaders, international businesses, communities and individuals made clear commitments in their approach to recycling, and consumers asked to answer key questions about recycling, allowing them to think of recycling in a new way.
“We want Global Recycling Day itself to be a day of celebration, championship and change – a celebration of the food and materials around us, a championship of the good recycling can do and a change in our attitudes and practices toward our own waste and recycling habits,” states Baxi.
In Nigeria, the day was celebrated by the Chanja Datti Recycling Company, which held a 7:00 a.m. walk at the Eagle Square in Abuja, to push advocacy for recycling. Chanja Datti is also running an upcycling contest, where people can create an artistic people or artwork from only recyclable materials and post it on social media using the hashtag #GRDupcyclingCompetition.
Visionscape Sanitation Solutions Limited, operators of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, ran a number of awareness raising messages via its Twitter account. Why some highlighted the benefits of recycling and the seven main categories of materials that can be recycled, others announced the occasion.
In a Twitter message, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), says: “Recycling plays a key role in achieving a more sustainable production and consumption model. It’s about action and taking better stewardship of the goods created, used and disposed off everyday.”