The landmark agreement announced at COP24 in December 2018 has seen governments around the world agree to a robust set of guidelines for implementing the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. This represents a major step forward in the battle to tackle climate change but time is also running out to ensure concrete change. The Global Recycling Foundation urges the recycling industry to take heed to the COP24 agreement and continue to play its frontline role in preserving the planet’s resources and improving the circular economy. It is also calling on recycling businesses and organisations across the globe to impress on their local communities, municipalities and governments to take action now, before it is too late.
The COP24 agreement, dubbed the ‘Katowice Climate Package’, seeks to promote greater international cooperation. This is a key pillar of the Global Recycling Day campaign. In 2018, Global Recycling Day campaigned for world leaders to commit to seven key areas, such as implementing a focus on international legislation, increased education in regards to recycling, and awareness around the key issues.
As a planet, we are undoubtedly waking up to our pivotal role in preventing climate change and how we might stem the tide. We are increasingly seeing world leaders and people of influence champion actions that we can all take to support the planet and recycling has taken centre stage. According to a study by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the European Climate Foundation, an improved circular economy is crucial in achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The recent Waste to Wealth Summit, spearheaded by HRH The Prince Of Wales’s Responsible Business Network, was launched in November to eliminate unavoidable waste by 2030 and prevent catastrophic climate change.
Ranjit Baxi, Founding President of the Global Recycling Foundation, and President of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), commented:
“The Global Recycling Foundation applauds the achievement at COP24 in reaching this agreement and the commitment to tackling climate change. It’s our responsibility and collective duty to protect our planet. Recycling and the circular economy are crucial to achieving this and beating climate change. We also welcome Defra’s new strategy of working with packaging manufactures to promote responsible disposal and recycling of goods -– such strategies are key to growing a circular economy.
“The Global Recycling Foundation is calling on the recycling industry to recognise their role in improving the circular economy and alleviating the effects of climate change – we have to recycle more and do it now.
“This is the reason Global Recycling Day was launched in 2018, to encourage the world to think ‘resource not waste’. And, as part of the Global Recycling Foundation’s mission to support educational programmes focused on the sustainable development of recycling, we are continuing to support its growth in 2019. Our second Global Recycling Day 2019 will take place on 18th March 2019 and we urge the world to support this movement.”
Recycling and reducing climate change are linked in many key ways. The reduction of carbon emissions is paramount to the fight against climate change and recycling has been shown to save over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions every year, according to a study conducted by BIR. Recycling helps to tackle climate change and promote sustainable economic growth due to the fact that:
- Less energy is required in the manufacturing of products using recyclable raw materials
- Few materials are incinerated saving further carbon emissions
- Less waste is sent to landfills meaning a decrease in greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere
In order to live up to climate change agreements and reduce the collective carbon footprint, the Global Recycling Foundation urges governments, organisations and individuals around the world to invest and support the growth of recycling industries, and calls on the world to support Global Recycling Day on 18th March 2019.