5 September 2018 by Elizabeth Slow

BIR calls for official recognition of Global Recycling Day  

The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) today stepped up their efforts to have Global Recycling Day recognised as an official United Nations day.

BIR President Ranjit S. Baxi; Katharina Kummer Peiry of Kummer EcoConsult; and Frank Van Rompaey, head of UNIDO’s Geneva office

During a side event organised by BIR during the 11th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG) in Geneva, BIR and UNIDO emphasised the need to celebrate the importance recycling plays in preserving primary resources.

Global Recycling Day

Organised by BIR, the first Global Recycling Day took place in March 2018 to help to provide “one unified approach to recycling” across the world (see letsrecycle.com story).

Following up on their joint declaration signed in June 2018 with a view to facilitating closer bilateral cooperation, both organisations have now called for concrete actions to ensure Global Recycling Day gains official UN recognition.

“We are delighted to be working with UNIDO in our efforts to have Global Recycling Day recognised as an official UN day,” said BIR President Ranjit Baxi. “We are determined, in collaboration with UNIDO, to build on the momentum we’ve sparked since launching Global Recycling Day in March.”

The event has been championed by the bureau’s British president Mr Baxi, since he was elected to the post in 2015. The aim is to spread the message of the need for recycling and that recyclables are the “Seventh Resource”.

The inaugural event on 18 March 2018 was a day of action “aimed at garnering support” for recycling across the world from leaders, policy makers, businesses, communities and individuals, BIR said.

Mr Baxi noted that recycling provides important raw materials to support the growing demand of industry, generates employment for 3 million worldwide and is forecast to add over $US400 billion to global GDP by 2025.

Mr Baxi visited Carnaby Steet in London for the first Global Recycling Day in March

In the coming weeks, BIR said it will be officially launching the Global Recycling Foundation as the parent organisation for Global Recycling Day.

Speaking at the side event were also Frank Van Rompaey, Head of UNIDO’s Geneva office, and Katharina Kummer Peiry of Kummer EcoConsult and former Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention.


BIR reports to be the largest international recycling federation in the world, with an aim to promote materials recycling and facilitate free and fair trade of recyclables in a sustainable and competitive world economy.


UNIDO is the agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalisation and environmental sustainability


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