Covid-19, trade barriers and financial crises have taken their toll on recyclers around the globe, according to BIR president Tom Bird. Looking back at 2020, ‘we have all lived through an unprecedented scenario of professional and personal hardship,’ he writes in his end of year message to members of the world recycling organisation.
‘Some of us have lost friends and loved ones, saw their companies and livelihoods endangered by collapsing economic framework conditions and faced existential uncertainty during seemingly endless months of lockdown,’ says Bird.
However, 2020 has reminded us yet again of the incredible things mankind is capable of, he believes. ‘The incredible work and sacrifice of our health professionals; the resilience of workers and employees during isolating lockdown conditions; the compassion and the active help of neighbours and friends.’
Circular Economy boost?
As 2020 draws to a close, Bird is happy to at least see an improvement in the commodity markets which are ‘helping many businesses recover some of the lost ground experienced during the early stages of the pandemic. Hopefully this bodes well for the months ahead as demand continues to improve.’
Looking to 2021, BIR’s president notes that Chinese import restrictions and Brexit are among many factors ‘likely to heavily impact recyclers’ businesses. ‘It will also be interesting to see which circular economy will emerge from the combined effect of the pandemic and new market opportunities.’
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