It comes as no surprise that the Bureau of International Recycling has followed practically all other organisations in cancelling events because of the Covid-19 pandemic and has been forced to go online for its major gathering in October.
‘Despite all our efforts and best intentions to offer you a “physical” World Recycling Convention in Brussels, I must now confirm that a face-to-face meeting is not possible,’ says BIR president Tom Bird in a video message to members.
Current Covid-19 regulations in Belgium compromise Brussels as the event venue and, with numerous countries implementing strict quarantine measures and travel restrictions, many BIR members would not have been able to travel.
‘A safe and successful BIR Convention for all concerned – that was our first priority,’ says Bird. ‘Due to the still unforeseeable circumstances, this objective is unfortunately no longer feasible. We absolutely want to ensure that attendees, sponsors and exhibitors should not be exposed to potential health risks when maintaining a physical event.’
Instead BIR will be offering a virtual World Recycling Convention on 12 and 13 October with general cross-commodity sessions of overarching interest to the recycling community such as Spotlight on Global Trade and a Worldwide Outlook on Economic Developments and Financial Markets.
These sessions will be immediately followed by commodity webinars similar to those organised during BIR’s first Global eForum in May. The recycling trade body is planning to offer networking tools that will allow participants to connect and do business with each other – a new service compared to the Global eForum in June.
The BIR secretariat is to circulate more detailed information on the event format, convention programme and conditions for participation in the coming weeks.