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Barcelona hosts global recyclers’ reunion

The first fully physical convention of the Bureau of International Recycling for more than two years has attracted more than 1 200 participants, the biggest BIR gathering for a more than a decade.

After two years of only virtual gatherings because of the Covid pandemic, members of the global recycling organisation are in Barcelona. High on the agenda are international relations, notably the Russian invasion of Ukraine, increased regulation and price volatility for scrap materials.

Covid challenge

At a media briefing on the eve of the convention, BIR president Tom Bird said the previous two years blighted by the global Covid pandemic had been a real challenge for BIR and its members. It had responded by forging closer links with national organisations. ‘This has helped BIR tremendously as it’s brought to the fore the work we do.’ He added it was important to maintain such links in the future, particularly with the growing challenge of regulation hampering free trade.

‘We must not sleep walk into them,’ he insisted, urging proactive activity to lobby governments and the EU. ‘We have probably been a bit soft in he past. We have to maintain the free flow of material, it’s the biggest issue we face.’

Bird also reported that BIR had acquired 101 new members in the past year, including 23 former members who had returned to the fold.

Dutch waffles freshy baked at the BIR booth of Jansen Recycling from the Netherlands.

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