Posted on 13/03/2018 in category BIR

Global Recycling Day - City-wide clean-up campaign confirmed in Johannesburg for Global Recycling Day 

A day of events has been confirmed in Johannesburg, including a city-wide clean-up campaign, to celebrate Global Recycling Day.  It will be held on Friday 16 March, just two days ahead first ever Global Recycling Day (18 March).

Global Recycling Day will unite people across the world, highlighting the need to conserve our six primary resources (water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals) and celebrating the power of the “Seventh Resource”- the goods we recycle every day.

The Department of Environmental Affairs, the City of Johannesburg, Pikitup (the official integrated waste management service provider to the City of Johannesburg) and the Catholic Church of Johannesburg are all joining forces to help spread the two key messages of Global Recycling day across the city, and South Africa: that recycling is too important not to be a global issue and that South Africans (and citizens across the world) need to think ‘resource not waste’ when it comes to recycling and reusing the goods and materials around then.

There will be two key events taking place at the St Charles Lwanga Catholic Church in Orange Farm.

•    At 8:00am, there will be a talk from the Director-General Waste Mr Buthelezi from the Department of Environmental Affairs, the management from the City of Johannesburg and from Pikitup as well as the Bishop from the Catholic Church.  There will also be stands and representatives from recycling organisations including Petco, PRASA, the Glass Recycling Company and PlasticsSA.
All representatives will add their names to the global petition started by Global Recycling Day, asking the UN to officially support the Day, and calling on world leaders to take a whole world approach to recycling.

•    At 9:00am, 300 volunteers will take part in a city-wide clean-up campaign, organised by the Catholic Church and the City of Johannesburg. The team will all be sporting Global Recycling Day t-shirts. All the recyclable materials collected will be going to two co-operatives which focus on Waste Management (Siyaphumelela and Itsoseng) and are run by the Youth from Orange Farm, a Waste Co-operative.
Press wanting to attend, film or carry out interviews are asked to arrive at 11:00am, and ask for Ms Boitumelo Dlamini who will be organising the interviewees.  The full address is Charles Lwanga Catholic Church Stand 11693 Ext 7A, Orange Farm – Ward 5, 1805, Gauteng, South Africa.

You can share the message now and on the day on social media using #GlobalRecyclingDay.

For further information, contact the Global Recycling Day PR team at Flagship Consulting:
Sophy Norris:  +44 (0)1392 248 934.
Hannah Kerslake:  +44 (0)207 680 7114.
Belinda Hallworth:  +44 (0)207 680 7122.

About Global Recycling Day

Global Recycling Day is an initiative of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR).  

BIR is the global federation of the recycling industry, representing the interests of the global industry.
One of BIR’s key objectives is to promote recycling globally – showcasing its benefits to industry, policy makers and the wider community.
2018 marks the 70th anniversary of BIR (indeed 18th March is its 70th birthday), a landmark year in which to create a day which recognised the vital role recycling and the industry plays in protecting the planet.

The first ever Global Recycling Day will unite people across the world, highlighting the need to conserve our six primary resources (water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals) and celebrating the power of the newly termed “Seventh Resource”- the goods we recycle every day. The new initiative is the brain child of Ranjit Baxi, who announced his vision for a day dedicated to recycling at the inauguration of his Presidency at BIR’s 2015 Dubai Convention.

Global Recycling Day will be a day of action, aimed at building a global approach towards recycling, calling on world leaders, international businesses, communities and individuals to make seven clear commitments in their approach to recycling.  Consumers are also being asked to ask themselves some key questions about recycling, to think of it in a new way.

Words of support for Global Recycling Day

Dr. Thérèse Coffey MP
“Everyone has a responsibility to think about the waste they produce and to recycle as much as they can. In the United Kingdom we have made great progress in increasing out recycling rate, which now stands at over 44%. Global Recycling Day is a reminder to us all of the difference we can make to protect our environment by disposing of our rubbish responsibly and is an opportunity to make sure that we are recycling all that we can. If in doubt you can check what you can recycle legally on”

Dr Therese Coffey MP is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the United Kingdom.

United Nations Assistant Secretary General Nikhil Seth
"I am pleased to celebrate and share in recognizing the importance of the world’s first Global Recycling Day, acknowledging recycling as crucial to realizing the sustainable development agenda. At the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), we recognize that changing attitudes and mindsets is crucial to achieving the Future We Want by 2030. Sustainable development and the targets included in the 2030 Agenda will only be achieved if we as individuals, communities and societies change our everyday habits, actions and consumption and production patterns.

"I strongly believe that Global Recycling Day will be instrumental in raising the awareness needed to amplify our recycling practices. Changing our mindsets so as to see recyclables and waste as valuable resources, will allow us to mend, repair and reuse materials that we otherwise would dispose of. By reconsidering what we throw away, we put the planet first and put the lives of people and future generations at the top of our priorities. Efficient recycling processes and practices can support the mitigation of dangerous climate change, generate jobs and local employment, help create sustainable cities and communities and can preserve our natural resources supporting our efforts towards more peaceful, just and sustainable societies.

"Whilst we often think of recycling as a local issue, Global Recycling Day helps us to elevate this important challenge to the global level, encouraging us to strengthen our commitments and develop new, dynamic and energetic partnerships across communities and cultures, and between governments and industries.

"Ultimately, our consumption and production patterns are in our hands, and our habits can impact and inspire our daily lives, and those of our children, families, friends and colleagues. In the spirit of the 2030 Agenda, I strongly encourage our partnership in stepping up our efforts to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle; together we can make a difference and help realize our vision for a more sustainable future."

Nikhil Seth is Executive Director at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Dr Yaakov Garb
“We must reduce consumption levels and design goods using less and more readily recyclable materials.  But, realistically, the flow of waste will continue to be large, and the huge volume of products already in circulation will reach the end of its useful life.  Global Recycling Day emphasizes the urgency of increasing the scale, quality and legitimacy of recycling: a critical environmental service to capture and process this material in a way that is equitable, efficient, and safe.”

Dr Garb is Lecturer at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Project Director at Towards Sustainable Management of E-Waste in Palestine, and based in Israel. You can read his full testimonial in the Global Recycling Day Manifesto.

Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla FTSE FIEAust CPEng
“Recycling waste is the first step in closing resource loop. Currently what is seen as ‘waste’ can be reformed into a resource for green manufacturing, therefore creating environmental, social and economic value. This event is fantastic in raising awareness about what is the right thing to do in the face of the mounting waste challenge.”

Professor Sahajwalla is ARC Laureate Fellow and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT@UNSW) at the University of South Wales in Australia. You can read more on her groundbreaking work here.

Dr Phil Aldous, BSc(Hons) LLM DMS
“We fully support global recycling day. As environmental consultants, we see at first hand, the effects of plastics in our oceans and water systems and this is a major concern.  When we analyse the diversity and abundance of macro-invertebrate animals in sediment samples, we are often asked to record the presence and nature of plastic fragments as well. Usually we encounter two types –   small fragments of items such as fishing nets or waste, and microbeads that are also found in toothpaste and cosmetic scrubs. Once microplastics enter the environment, they are present for many tens of years, so preventing the release of plastics into our waterways and oceans remains a priority.

"The UK has reacted to this environmental risk by imposing a ban on microbeads in certain products. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg and  far more needs to be done as a priority such as a recyclable bottle deposit scheme. If we continue polluting our oceans with plastic at this rate, by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic – by weight – than fish.”

Dr Aldous is Director of Water at Thomson Ecology.

Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment
“We need to see waste for what it really is – a wasted resource. There is no place on our planet anymore for products that are used only briefly and thrown away. We need to ensure planned obsolescence is a thing of the past. It’s time for countries in the world to dramatically step-up recycling rates if we are to save this planet.”

Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
The management of hazardous wastes has been on the international environmental agenda for many years now. Awakening environmental awareness in the 1970s led in all parts of the world to increasing public resistance to the dumping of hazardous wastes and to the growing conviction that only their environmentally sound management will protect human health and the environment from their negative impacts. The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (“the Basel Convention”) was adopted in 1989, in response to a public outcry following the discovery, in the 1980s, in Africa and other parts of the developing world of deposits of toxic wastes imported from developed countries. Firmly grounded in principles of environmentally sound management, the Basel Convention is now nearly universal and brings together 186 Parties across the globe.

Today waste is belatedly recognised not just as a problem but also as an opportunity. The waste management hierarchy (prevention, minimization, reuse, recycling, other recovery including energy recovery, and final disposal) and the recognition of waste as a resource underpin implementation of the Basel Convention across the world. Already in 2011 Parties agreed that the safe and environmentally sound recovery of hazardous and other wastes represents an opportunity for the generation of employment, economic growth and the reduction of poverty insofar as it is done in accordance with the Basel Convention requirements, guidelines and decisions.

More recently the globally-agreed sustainable development goals strengthened this paradigm shift with Goal 12 - on Sustainable Consumption and Production - and in particular its target 12.5 - aiming to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse by 2030. At the last UN Environment Assembly, the nations of the world unanimously agreed to encourage sustainable lifestyles and to move forward to ensure more sustainable consumption and production patterns, by providing reliable sustainability information to consumers, increasing education and awareness raising, and making it easier to rethink, reuse, recycle, recover and remake any products, materials and/or services and prevent and reduce waste generation.

Clearly, the environmentally sound management of hazardous and other waste is a complex issue which requires concerted actions by States, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders. Every individual, every family, every household can and must participate in this quest. I believe that the launch of the Global Recycling Day is an important step in this direction – prompting people across the world to work together – on waste - towards a more sustainable future for all.

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