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Leading recyclers mark the fourth Global Recycling Day on March 18 by setting ambitious net zero emission targets

Recyclables save over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions annually, according to Global Recycling Foundation; The organisation calls for Recycling to be at the forefront of discussions when world leaders gather for the COP26 meeting in the UK in November 2021.

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March 17 2021
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Every year, recyclables save over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions, according to the Global Recycling Foundation (GRF). The organisation projects this will increase to one billion tonnes by 2030. Major recycling companies want to help meet growing consumer demand for more eco-friendly, recycled products, as per the statement. 

In the past decade, investment in state-of-the-art technology has seen the metal recycling industry utilise vision systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and robot technology to improve the efficiency and quality of processing, creating less carbon intensive materials for manufacturers.

The industry has also developed innovative partnerships with a wide range of sectors, using its insight and expertise to ‘eco design’ the products of the future which are both less carbon intensive during their lifetimes and more easily recycled or repurposed at end-of-life. These efforts help protect biodiversity as recycling removes waste from the environment and cuts the volume of virgin material needed by manufacturers avoiding the destruction of precious habitats around the world.

“All recycled materials are inherently low carbon, so metal recyclers have a great starting point as we look to cut CO2 emissions in the decades ahead. This, however, does not mitigate us of the responsibility of working on reducing our own carbon footprint. Global Recycling Day is a great reminder that we all must play our part in achieving net-zero and limit the worst effects of climate change,” said Susie Burrage, President of the British Metals Recycling Association.  

“There’s lots of evidence that manufacturers and governments can achieve massive reductions in carbon emissions by using recovered materials. Meanwhile, the recycling sector itself is a comparatively low emissions industry, with businesses across the sector investing in improved technology and research, which will further reduce our environmental impact,” said Ian Sheppard, Managing Director of Metal Recycling at EMR.

In a separate statement, the Global Recycling Foundation called for Recycling to be at the forefront of discussions when world leaders gather for the COP26 meeting in the UK in November 2021. Recycling, known as the Seventh Resource, is today having an effect, but is too often overlooked for its ability to help preserve our forests, oceans, and the environment. While the world seeks new ways to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, the industry is already projected to save over a billion tonnes in emissions and add nearly $500 billion to global GDP by 2030.

“Recycling is the only global initiative which can be instantly deployed throughout the world to help combat climate change. Every government and every individual can play their part without delay and by doing so will have an immediate impact on the greatest threat facing our planet,” said Founding President, Ranjit Baxi. “By raising awareness of the benefits of recycling at such an important gathering as COP26 we can turn the tide of the wastefulness, which is creating every larger waste mountains and pollution.”

The Global Recycling Foundation supports the promotion of recycling, and the recycling industry, across the world to highlight its vital role in preserving the future of the planet. It promotes Global Recycling Day and other educational programmes, awareness projects and innovation initiatives which focus on the sustainable and inclusive development of recycling.


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