March 18, 2022
Global Recycling Day is now in its fourth year, after being set up by the Global Recycling Foundation whose role is to ‘support the promotion of recycling, and the recycling industry, across the world to showcase its vital role in preserving the future of the planet.’ 
Prevention and reuse are above recycling on the waste hierarchy, but recycling is just as important. The world is trying to transition to a circular, reuse model which is less intensive and materialistic, but these changes are ongoing and can’t be facilitated without recycling in some form in the long term.
As a result, recycling plays an important role across the globe by:
- helping the planet
- giving materials a new lease of life, creating a circular economy
- reducing the requirements for raw materials, as well as socio environmental impacts
- engaging with people to think about their impact on the environment
- making people view ‘waste’ as a resource and to look for innovation and collaboration
- reducing the amount of material sent to landfill
- reducing CO2 emissions
If people across the globe are recycling they are reducing their climate footprint too - it is estimated that if people recycle products and packaging between 2020 and 2050 they can help to reduce emissions by over 5.5 giga tons – equating to taking 1 billion cars off the road!  This is because recycling processes, when compared to virgin material extraction, is less energy intensive. For example, oil needs to be extracted to create virgin plastics.
What can I do to help?
- Recycle everything that can be recycled
- Make sure your recyclable material is clean, otherwise it might be rejected, or it will impact the quality of the end recycled product
- Don’t wishcycle
- Consider getting a composter for your back garden
- Ensure the products you buy are as sustainable as they can be, such as this reusable coffee cup or bottle from Circular&Co. These made from single use paper cups
- Check council websites to find out what can be recycled and where
- Visit the recycle-more website to find out where you can recycle batteries, soft plastics and even old electronics
Whilst we should all be heading towards prevention and reuse, recycling still has a very important role across the globe and that’s why we support Global Recycling Day.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog represent those of the author, Ben Richardson, and are not those of recycle-more, Valpak Limited or any other organisation.