Global Recycling Day has been marked with the first international awards to individuals and groups from around the world who have shown dedication and innovation within the industry.
The ‘Recycling Heroes’ initiative has been backed by the Global Recycling Foundation (GRF), which established the special day three years ago. The winners, who will each receive US$ 1000, were selected from more than 2000 nominations. Their work spans all parts of the recycling industry from plastic to textiles and household items. (Listed below). The foundation also plans shortly to recognise a further 100 nominees for their work as unsung and local heroes in the recycling industry.
Pride in the sector
Global Recycling Day took place on 18 March with individuals, businesses and communities marking the day on social media, in their homes and neighbourhoods.
Ranjit Baxi, GRF founder and president, says ‘Global Recycling Day allows everyone to play their part in the circular economy, help protect our natural resources and build a better future for generations to come. Anyone can be a #RecyclingHero – no matter how big or small their recycling initiatives are.’
Who are the winners?
- Anuya Trivedi, Founder of Greenbuddies – India
Creating ‘Recycled Play Stations’ for children out of tyres and other reusable scraps.
- Aribe Bajwa, Founder of Youth Social Ambassadors – Pakistan
A youth-based organisation working towards community empowerment and specifically towards environmental causes.
- Ecolana – Mexico
A digital platform serving as a recycling guide and an advisor for consumer brands looking to develop recycling programmes.
- Cappabue National School – Ireland
Promoting the circular economy with a rap video in response to polluted beaches in County Cork.
- Made by TREID – Philippines
Transforms old clothes and uniforms into higher valued products such as multifunctional and fashionable shoes and bags, home accessories and new fabric.
- Nick Oettinger, managing director and founder, The Furniture Recycling Group – UK
Diverts 400 000 mattresses from landfills each year and is continually investing in research to make the recycling of mattresses viable and efficient.
- Plogging Club – Nigeria
Encouraging students to combine jogging with picking up litter and recyclables.
- Reform Africa – Uganda
Tackles waste disposal by transforming plastic waste into sustainable, waterproof and durable bags.
- U-Recycle – Nigeria
A youth-led non-profit organisation investing time and resources into educating schools and communities about the value of recycling.
- Zizo Ezi Foundation – South Africa
A non-profit organisation working with school children in rural areas to advicate a clean eco future in South Africa.
Call to unite
Baxi has also been commenting on the ‘uncertain times’ of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that recycling and the move towards a circular economy remain some of the most pressing issues we face.
‘We must work to unite the world to think “resource not waste” and protect the future of our planet. It is important the recycling industry aligns itself to the UN’s key Sustainable Development Goals and we pull together – across the planet – to work towards a cleaner, more sustainable and more ethical planet if we are to provide for the future and for our children.’