By Christabel Arina

The Global Recycling Foundation has welcomed the Katowice climate package, an agreement announced at the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) for governments to agree to a robust set of guidelines for implementing the 2015 Paris climate change agreement.

“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,” Ranjit Baxi, Founding President of the Global Recycling Foundation and President of Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) said.

The COP24 agreement thrives to promote greater international cooperation which is a key pillar of the Global Recycling Day campaign. In 2018, Global Recycling Day advocated for commitment from world leaders to seven key areas including increased education in regards to recycling, awareness around the key issues and implementing a focus on international legislation.

This reflects a significant step forward in the battle to tackle climate change but time to ensure concrete change is running out. The Global Recycling Foundation urges the recycling industry to take heed of 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 organizations across the globe to impress on their local communities, municipalities and governments to take action now, before it is too late.

“We also welcome Defra’s new strategy of working with packaging manufacturers to promote responsible disposal and recycling of goods – such strategies are key to growing a circular economy,” he said.

The president of BIR called on the recycling industry to recognize 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’. As part of the Global Recycling Foundation’s mission to support educational programs 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,” Baxi added.

According to a study carried out by BIR, recycling saves over 700 million tons in carbon dioxide emissions every year. The reduction of carbon emissions is of great importance in the fight against climate change.

Recycling helps to tackle climate change and promote sustainable economic growth in several ways: less energy is required in the manufacturing of products using recyclable raw materials, few materials are incinerated saving further carbon emissions and 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, governments, organizations and individuals around the world should invest and support the growth of recycling industries.