Posted on 08/12/2009 in category Environment





Brussels,8thDecember 2009

GlobalRecycling Delivers Massive CO2 Reduction

Brussels,8 December 2009:Armed with evidence from a study conducted by Imperial CollegeLondon1that recycling delivers annual CO2 reductions of 500 million tonnes,BIR (Bureau of International Recycling) will be in Copenhagen forCOP15 to advocate increased global support for the industry.

“BIR’srecent study on the environment benefits of recycling shows theimportant contribution our members make to energy, water and CO2savings,” says Dominique Maguin, BIR’s President. “The figureof 500 million tonnes of reduced CO2 is a conservative estimate basedon sound scientific analysis. Let me put it in context: this figureis equivalent to almost 2% of global fossil fuel emissions andrepresents more than the CO2 emitted by aviation worldwide.”

BIRis participating in the Bright Green Exhibition and conference inCopenhagen on the 12thand 13thof December 2009 (stand 9), and BIR Director General Francis Veys isa member of the official delegation of the International Chamber ofCommerce.

“Thepurpose of Bright Green is to showcase specific approaches to addressclimate change challenges,” explains Francis Veys. “BIR will besupported by GI, the Danish recycling federation to make the case forour industry. Our members across the globe are providing nearly 50%of the raw materials needed, and we can still increase this figure.The collection of waste can be improved and the recycling activitiesare indispensible for saving energy, gas emissions and naturalresources. It is of paramount importance to leave a safe, clean andwelcoming planet for future generations.”

Themembers of BIR represent a global powerhouse industry, processingover 600 million tonnes of commodities, with an annual turnoverexceeding 200 billion US dollars,similar tothe GDP of countries such as Portugal, Colombia and Malaysia. “Our1.6 million employees are justifiably proud to be part of thisindustry,” Francis Veys adds. “And, each of them can point to anindividual contribution of over 300 tonnes of CO2 reduction per year.That figure will continue to grow if recycled materials become theresources of choice in the future.”

BIRPresident Maguin concludes: “The UN’s 2005 Millennium AssessmentReport showed that a majority of the ecosystems that provide rawmaterials are being degraded or used unsustainably, threatening lifeon Earth. We can minimise and reverse this damage by increasingenvironmentally-responsible recovery and reuse of valuablematerials.”



Elisabeth Christ

Tel: +32 2 627 57 70

1 Reporton the Environmental Benefits of Recycling, prepared by Professor SueGrimes, Professor John Donaldson, and Dr Gabriel Cebrian Gomez,Imperial College London, October 2008.

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BIR World Recycling Convention & Exhibition