Posted on 30/03/2018 in category BIR

Around the world with Global Recycling Day: 

18th March 2018

Global Recycling Day was an amazing success, and we are still enjoying its halo effect two weeks later.  Our petition continues to gather signatures (nearing 7,700), social media continue to grow (nearing 18,000) and we are still gathering media impacts from across the globe.

We would like to thank all members who joined in, whether with events, videos, social posts or stories, and would like to share with you all the events that took place around the world.  Some of these were carried out in collaboration with the BIR team, some were supported by our excellent partners and supporters and some just appeared in our social streams – much to our delight.

It seems Global Recycling Day has sparked a movement, one which you, as members, are driving forward.  We look forward to even more, and even bigger events in 2019.

And – of course – if we have missed your activity or event, please do let us know so we can include it on the website in the future.

Global Recycling Day – Official Events, supported by The Bureau of International Recycling

Brussels, Belgium

The staff of the BIR Secretariat in Brussels gathered in front of the iconic Atomium to promote Global Recycling Day. Interaction took place with passers-by and people were invited to sign the global petition. Also, a school in the north of Brussels dedicated a two-day educational seminar to recycling and asked children to share the newly acquired knowledge with their families at home for wider outreach.

Delhi, India

In partnership with the Inland Importers and Consumers Association and Clean Green India, more than 6,000 people took part in Global Recycling Day celebrations in Delhi. Led by the Mayor of Delhi, Mrs Neema Ghagat, 500 women all wearing identical red saris, collected waste for sorting and recycling. School children took part in educational workshops while volunteers handed out Global Recycling Day responsibly sourced branded Frisbees and t-shirts to members of the public.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

BIR member Sharif Metals and their team conducted some recycling activities at their plant in Dubai. In addition, the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) used Global Recycling Day to launch their ‘Green Call’ mobile phone recycling campaign, focusing on incentivising and motivating all UAE individuals and entities to submit their old phones and tablets for recycling.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Led by the Department of the Environment and supported by PickItUp, The City of Johannesburg, PETCO and TCRC, 300 volunteers took part in a clean-up at Orange Farm, Gauteng, collecting plastic litter for sorting and recycling. The volunteers and members of the public all signed the Global Recycling Day petition.

London, United Kingdom

A recycling pop-up activation took place on Carnaby Street, a hugely popular location in Central London, under the guidance of Westminster City Council and The Shaftesbury Estate. The event was attended by Ranjit Baxi, President of BIR. Promoters encouraged passing members of the public to sign the petition and learn more about the Seventh Resource.

Rotherham, United Kingdom

The BMRA organised a 5-a-side Football tournament to showcase and celebrate the day, which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to unseasonal snowfall.  Nonetheless they joined in with photos and support on social media throughout the day.

Paris, France

A press conference was held to celebrate and educate media and influencers about Global Recycling Day, which welcomed over 50 attendees with a very strong attendance from trade and general media . The event was organised by the French recycling association and member of BIR FEDEREC, and the Mayor of Paris, Ms Anne Hidalgo, proclaimed official patronage of GRD. In parallel, advertising and social media campaigns ran in the build up to Global Recycling Day.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Supported by a large number of partners - EXPOSUCATA / MERCOAPARA / RECICLAPLAST / RCDEXPO / EXPOLIXO - a team of 17 promoters handed out 1,000 flyers and around a large number of GRD-branded T-shirts on Paulista Avenue (a famous street in the financial heartbeat of Latin America), encouraging petition signing.  Over 2,000 conversations took place, with an overall outreach to 10,000 people.

The team also launched Dia Mundial da Reciclagem (Portuguese for Global Recycling Day) pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

Sydney, Australia

Hosted by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), a morning discussion was held, attended by about 50 representatives from key influential organisations in the recycling industry in Australia including PREP, Institute for Sustainable Futures, Planet Ark and Adaptation.

Washington, D.C. United States of America

A meeting and conversations took place with Senator Tom Carper and Senator John Boozman,  Co-chairs of the U.S Senate Recycling Caucus and Senator Frank Pallone and Senator John Shimkus, Co-chairs of the House Recycling Caucus to discuss Global Recycling Day and raise the matter in Congress. All senators also tweeted their involvement on their private feeds. The activity was facilitated by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), an official GRD National Association Partner. 

Global Recycling Day – Unofficial Events

Abuja, Nigeria 

Volunteer litter picking for collection and sorting into recyclables took place in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, supported by Pick That Trash, Chang Datti, StopDon’tDrop and the Hilton Abuja.

Accra, Ghana

A clean-up of Ningo Beach, Accra, was organised by local environment initiatives Plastic Punch and Dercol Bags and involved volunteers collecting over 100 large bags of plastic waste for sorting and recycling.

Athens, Greece

Activity to support Global Recycling Day in Athens focused on sporting events and the invariable use of water bottles and cups. Institute Team for the World, an NGO NFP that focuses in bridging sport, environmental protection and sustainability, organized the recycling schemes for the Aphrodite Cup, an international rhythmic gymnastics tournament and the Athens Half Marathon, which were both held on 18th March.


In partnership with the Nautilus Project and Gibraltar Arts and Crafts, schoolchildren collected discarded plastic straws and used them to create ocean-themed plastic pieces of art.

Jaipur, India

Small scale activity led by a handful of committed individuals took place in Jaipur, India, focusing on recycling locations on the streets of Jaipur and predominantly pushed through social media. This activation highlighted how each and every person on Earth can make a difference.

Middelburg, South Africa

To celebrate ‘Wereldherwinningstag’, schoolchildren from the Laerskool collected countless plastic bottles to create a large scale outline of the world ‘Herwin’, which is Afrikaans for ‘recycle’ on the sports pitch at their school. Enviroserv Waste Management played a key role in organising the event in partnership with the school and even sent along their mascot, ‘Izwe’ to entertain and educate staff and pupils alike on how to recycle properly and responsibly.

Mirigama, Sri Lanka

Gravita, a BIR member companyh, celebrated Global Recycling Day at their facility in Sri Lanka with employees lending their support on social media.

Mustang, Nepal

Global Recycling Day reached high into the foothills of the Himalayas, through educational activity for monks, school children and farmers in Mustang to learn about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Waste and Climate Change Project helped to sponsor and organise the activities. 

Green Queens Initiative – United Kingdom

This is a grass roots initiative run by a young beauty queen – her mission for her reign as ‘Queen’ is to promote recycling and reduce the use of plastics as far as possible.

Shah Alam, Malaysia

A community event took place in the neighbourhood of Section 9, Shah Alam City, Malaysia where inhabitants came together to celebrate the arrival of recycling facilities and services in their area. The event was supported by Sistem Ganjaran.

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

School children ran a ‘stop and swap’ shop for unwanted goods, promoting the reuse and recycling of goods, rather than seeing them as waste.

The team in Mongolia, with support from UNEP and the Waste and Climate Change Project, also launched their own Facebook page with 417 followers.  
Vienna, Austria

An art exhibition took place that was titled ‘Science, Technology, Innovation and the Arts - Educating the public on the critical necessity of recycling’ by renowned artists Christoph Bland and Pawlix.

Video Support

Tetra Pak - Global

Tetra Pak created a video celebrating Global Recycling Day and underlining their own international recycling efforts. The video was posted to Tetra Pak’s social media channels and reposted by several of Tetra Pak’s in-country Facebook feeds.  

Tegos Group - Germany

BIR member Tegos Group in Germany celebrated Global Recycling Day by producing a video heralding the power of the Seventh Resource.

Scrap Metal Association of New Zealand

This organisation created a series of short videos discussing the subject of recycling fridges and other white goods.

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