Global – From around the globe, recycling industry leaders gathered in Amsterdam this week for the BIR world recycling convention and to be present at the inaugural meeting of the World Council of Recycling Associations. This BIR-led initiative is intended to take participants to ‘the next level of sustained co-operation and support for the industry’, attendees in the Dutch capital learned from BIR president Ranjit Baxi.
The World Council, also dubbed ‘the United Nations of Recycling’ by Baxi, has been created to give a unified voice to the international recycling industries in their bid to develop awareness among policy-makers, legislators and the general public of the economic, social and environmental contribution of the recycling industry. The Council will also help promote ‘best sustainable practices’ around the world – particularly in developing countries, he added. ‘It will work as a thread to help them build on their recycling programmes.’
Worldwide, the recycling industry is responsible for creating millions of jobs as well as a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet, Baxi explained. The World Council will therefore spearhead the drive for further academic studies and research that will provide factual and statistical confirmation of the recycling industry’s contributions to, for example, GDP, employment and landfill reduction. A recently-updated, BIR-commissioned study had revealed that the work of the recycling industry prevents some 700 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, and Baxi added: ‘More such reports are necessary. We need to quantify these benefits.’
In addition, the World Council will promote free trade in recyclables as well as the environmentally sound management and use of recycled materials, while encouraging manufacturers to design their products with a heightened focus on recycling. It will also co-ordinate actions in defending the interests of the industry as a whole.
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