New Delhi: The three R’s of waste management – reduce, reuse and recycle – are essential for conserving natural resources, landfill space and energy. When it comes to recycle, along with helping in reducing the waste burden of the planet, the recycling industry saves over 700 million tons of CO2 emissions every year. March 18 is observed around the world as the Global Recycling Day. This day, according to Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) is a day of action, aimed at building a global approach towards recycling. This will be done by calling on world leaders, international businesses, communities and individuals to make commitments in their approach to recycling.
What Is Global Recycling Day
Global Recycling Day is an initiative of the Bureau of International Recycling, the global federation of the recycling industry. The day aims to promote recycling globally – showcasing its benefits to industry, policy makers as well the various communities.
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of BIR on March 18, 2018, the federation launched the Global Recycling day. The first ever Global Recycling Day encouraged people to unite across the world to realise the need to conserve our six primary resources – water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals – and introduced the term “Seventh Resource”- the goods we recycle every day.
The mission of Global Recycling Day are:
- To tell world leaders that recycling is simply too important not to be a global issue, and that a common, joined up approach to recycling is urgently needed.
- To ask people across the planet to think resource, not waste, when it comes to the goods around us – until this happens, we simply won’t award recycled goods the true value and repurpose they deserve.
Erik Solheim, Former Head of UN Environment at the launch of the Global Recycling Day explained the importance of recycling,
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.
Theme For Global Recycling Day 2020
This year, the theme for the third Global Recycling Day is #RecyclingHeroes. It aims to recognise the people, places and activities that showcase how the ‘Seventh Resource’ and recycling contribute to an environmentally stable planet and a greener future for all.
The last decade has been the hottest on record. We now face a climate emergency of unparalleled proportions. If we don’t work together to make significant and rapid changes, we will see continued rising global temperatures, melting icecaps, continents on fire and rapid deforestation. Now, more than ever, we all need to do our part in contributing towards a greener future. There are already climate change and environmental heroes who are continually campaigning for a better future for our planet. These heroes surround us every day, from household names like Greta Thunberg and Leonardo DiCaprio to the unsung heroes doing their part to preserve the planet. They are critical to our future, and they are vital in helping us raise the profile of recycling, explains a statement from the BIR.
Today, to observe the Global Recycling Day, the BIR is celebrating these heroes – big and small – as well as cities, young people and businesses who are championing innovative recycling practices and habits around the world.
The Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar also urged his followers on Twitter to “Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. Don’t Throw.”
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) March 18, 2020
The Crisis Of Waste In India
According to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India generates around 62 million tonnes of waste annually of which about 43 million tonnes is collected, 11.9 million is treated and 31 million is dumped straight into the landfill sites. A study was done on India’s waste mess by Down to Earth, a Centre For Science And Environment’s publication, stated that the untreated amount of waste in India is equivalent to 3 million trucks piled with garbage and covering half the distance between the earth and the moon.