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Play your part in celebrating the blooming recycling industry

The word ‘ambition’ is no longer a dirty word. Look at Amazon or around your regular bookshop and you’ll find countless titles telling you how to make the most of your potential. People are clearly looking for inspiration and guidance – and this goes for recyclers, too.

We are told to be goal-oriented yet modest, to honour traditions yet be open-minded. We spend a lot of our time trying to find the right balance. What works and what does not?

At Recycling International, we know how important it is to celebrate your successes. To live in the moment, lead by example and to have a clear vision for the future that you share with others in your industry – no matter how many miles away they are.

The global recycling arena has seen a lot of change over the years. It’s fair to call this an evolution, pushing us all to the next stage. In order to highlight this sequence of innovations, our magazine is composing a ‘Top 100’ which will be featured in the next issue in August.

Admittedly, it’s impossible to catch all breakthroughs, pioneers, disruptors and industry veterans in a list, no matter how detailed the ranking. But it’s a good place to start.

These are strange times. Nowadays, especially, we have to remind ourselves what we are capable of. There is no shame in being proud of our collective milestones. If anything, if will boost our spirit and prove that we are heading in the right direction – which I am confident we are.

Whether you’re talking about rare earth metals, plastic packaging, discarded textiles, electronic scrap or car batteries, recyclers and tech companies have created solutions for practically every material and product type. Meanwhile, commercial partnerships and collaborations with universities ensure progress continues at full speed.

I am glad to report that investment in promising R&D projects and recycling technology is steady, with people working together across borders to find the right answers. At the same time, those coming up with breakthrough solutions are getting younger and younger. Recycling has gained in popularity and has become a more prominent part of society. Gone are the days when scrap was simply ‘dirty’.

This doesn’t surprise me. Recyclers have modernised their practices and attitudes. I’ve seen this shift with my own eyes the last ten years. Our industry is hallmarked by a fierce curiosity, social and material awareness, dedication, pride, strong work ethic and a desire to be part of something bigger. To fight for something bigger.

Recyclers are vital to our everyday existence – and the world knows it. That’s why they deserve to be celebrated.

That almost certainly includes you, dear reader. Whether you’re a student, researcher, engineer, product manager, secretary, MRF operator or trader… we are all part of the chain. And we all have our role to play in the blossoming circular economy.

If you know a company or individual you think should be in the Top 100, let us know! Contact me directly via: [email protected]

I’m curious to see your suggestions!

Would you like to share any interesting developments or article ideas with us? Don't hesitate to contact us.

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