The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) launched the Global Recycling Foundation at its World Recycling Convention in London, where it also invited members to become the first cohort of Foundation “Friends” when they donate. Current BIR President Ranjit Baxi is the foundation’s founding president.
The foundation, formed by BIR but run as an independent organization, will promote and support the global recycling industry in its mission to showcase the crucial role of recycling in preserving the planet’s future. This is a direct result of the success of Global Recycling Day 2018. Global Recycling Day 2019 will be the biggest activity supported by the foundation.
The first-ever Global Recycling Day took place in March. Its aim was to celebrate the importance of recycling in preserving the planet’s primary resources, and it introduced the world to the Seventh Resource (the materials people recycle). The first Global Recycling Day reached millions of people (more than 10.5 million on social media channels alone) and ignited a movement across the world. With plans underway for the second annual awareness day on March 18, 2019 (with a new theme of “Recycling Into the Future”), the creation of the foundation is a crucial step in securing the future of Global Recycling Day and other initiatives aiming at the promotion of a global and united approach to recycling.
The Global Recycling Foundation has nine primary goals that underpin its mission to ensure recycling remains central to the preservation of the planet’s resources and future:
- Continue to support and celebrate Global Recycling Day on March 18 each year.
- Promote the prioritization of the Seventh Resource.
- Foster the promotion of recycling across the world, and support and share best practices and innovation.
- Protect biodiversity.
- Commit to, and promote, eco-responsibility and the circular economy.
- Encourage responsible, sustainable and inclusive environmental actions to the benefit of ecological developments.
- Support statistical, economic and social studies in the field of recycling.
- Support research and innovation in the field of recycling.
- Support educational programs, university and scientific research in the field of recycling.
- Recycling is not optional, but necessary.
“The world needs to wake up to the fact that recycling is not optional, but necessary,” said Baxi in a statement. “The recycling industry is at the epicenter of action on resource preservation. Without it all our used and discarded fridges, plastic bottles, packing boxes, cars, cell phones, clothes and paper cups will contribute to the growing waste mountains, be incinerated or go to landfill—never to be used again. The role of the foundation is to show the world that recycling is a collective endeavor, crucial for the future of the planet. No one can act in isolation, and it is imperative we engage the widest population possible, from BIR members to world leaders, businesses to individuals—no matter where they are located. The establishment of the Global Recycling Foundation will underpin this mission, and ensure a global approach, supporting joint initiatives and achieving goals to foster better recycling practices into the future.”
The Global Recycling Foundation is a private foundation, formed by BIR in Brussels. Tom Bird (current BIR treasurer) will be vice president, and David Chiao, BIR executive committee member, will be the first board member. The foundation will use funds from donors and partners across the globe to foster promotional and educational campaigns that highlight the vital role of recycling in creating a sustainable future for the planet. Donations may be eligible for tax benefits, and donors will be able to build their involvement into their Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.
“The launch of the Global Recycling Foundation is a vitally important step in raising the awareness, and growing the amount of, recycling across the world,” said Arnaud Brunet, director general of BIR, in a statement. “We at BIR have long been saying recycling is too important to be anything other than a global issue. For 70 years, we have been working with the industry and world leaders to ensure recycling, and recycled goods, remain at the top of the ecology agenda. The incredible success of the first Global Recycling Day this year showed just how ready the world is to hear our call to action, and the creation of the foundation will provide the framework to ensure the day continues to grow, and to fund further projects needed to deepen engagement across the planet.”