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The First Ever Global Recycling Day Wants To Turn Waste Into A Solution

By Tessa Love

We all know that waste is a big enemy of the environment. Natural resources are tapped to produce things like packaging and single-use cups, only to be thrown into a landfill shortly after. Then, this waste continues to leech toxins into the environment and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, further contributing to climate change. While eliminating waste entirely would be the ultimate solution to this problem, the Bureau of International Recycling, the global federation of the recycling industry, sees an intermediate fix—treating waste as a valuable resource. 

Counterintuitive as it may seem, this is the premise behind the first-ever Global Recycling Day, an initiative from BIR that aims to promote recycling on a global level by showcasing its benefits. Taking place on March 18, Global Recycling Day will unite people across the world with events that will take place in London, Washington DC, Sao Paolo, Paris, Johannesburg, Delhi, Sydney, and Dubai, plus other private events expected to take place in smaller communities and individual homes. On this day, these cities will implement a set of challenges set forth by BIR to improve their recycling habits, and thus make a commitment to cutting down the use of natural resources in favor of "the seventh resource"—recyclable waste.

"[Global Recycling Day] is a day to showcase that whoever and wherever we live on this great planet, whether we are the humblest individual or the greatest leader, the responsible use of the materials around us, the better understanding of how they are used and dispatched, and the championing of recycled goods from the plastics in our home to the metals in our buildings, is a collective, and global, concern," said Ranjit Baxi, president of BIR and the brainchild behind the new initiative.