First Global Recycling Day launches

The first Global Recycling Day has taken place on Sunday, March 18, which saw cities around the world run events to encourage people to rethink recycling.

The event is designed to raise recycling awareness and aims to petition the United Nations to officially recognise the day.

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A “Seventh Resource Manifest” aims to encourage people to start thinking about recyclable material as an additional primary resource to water, air, coal, natural gas, oil, and minerals.

Events took place in Delhi, Dubai, London, Paris, Washington DC, Johannesburg and Sydney.

“We need to see waste for what it really is – a wasted resource. There is no place on our planet anymore for products that are used only briefly and thrown away,” said Head of United Nations Environment Erik Solheim.

“We need to ensure planned obsolescence is a thing of the past. It’s time for countries in the world to dramatically step-up recycling rates if we are to save this planet,” Mr Solheim said.

Bureau for International Recycling Ranjit Baxi said the event was a vitally important new date in the global calendar.

“To truly harness the power of recycling we must adopt a global approach to its collection, processing and use. It is time we put the planet first and all commit to spend 10 more minutes a day ensuring that materials are disposed of properly,” Mr Baxi said.

“Global Recycling Day is also a wakeup call to all of us, wherever we live.  We must unite with those involved in the industry – from workers in waste collection to the world’s largest businesses – to help them make the best use of what we dispose of and make recycling easier, inherent even in the design of products,” he said.