The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) is preparing for the first-ever Global Recycling Day on March 18. And to raise awareness around the need to shift the global perception of what one considers waste into one of the Earth’s most valuable resources, BIR is encouraging world leaders to make recycling their 2018 New Year’s resolution.
The Earth has six primary natural resources–water, air, oil, natural gas, coal and minerals–but they are rapidly running out. The Seventh Resource–the goods and materials around us that can be used and reused–can be used time and time again, sometimes indefinitely. BIR, through Global Recycling Day, is asking the world to collectively think Seventh Resource and to prioritize its use across the planet. According to BIR, the Seventh Resource saves more than 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions each year, offsetting all CO2 emissions generated by the aviation industry annually.
BIR has created a list of seven concrete commitments it is presenting to world leaders, changes needed to prioritize Seventh Resource and changes that will be central to Global Recycling Day’s mission. The commitments are:
- Implement and strengthen international agreements that promote recycling, and negotiate new ones as needed.
- Support and promote the sustainable trade of recyclable materials to ecologically sound companies across the globe.
- Educate, from the grass roots up, the public on the critical necessity of recycling.
- Agree to a common language of recycling (same definitions, same messages).
- Make recycling a community issue, supporting initiatives which help households and businesses provide Seventh Resource materials for repurposing.
- Work with the industry to encourage ‘design for recycling’ in the reuse of materials–reducing waste and integrating ‘end-of-life’ functionality at the design stage.
- Support innovation, research and initiatives that foster better recycling practices.