18 March 2021 by James Langley

Global Recycling Day marked around the country

Global Recycling Day is being marked across the country today (18 March), with dozens of companies and organisations launching schemes.

Now in its fourth year, the initiative is spearheaded by the Global Recycling Foundation (GRF), which today pledged to support the planting of 250,000 trees by 2030 “with the support of the global recycling industry”. The drive forms part of the foundation’s bid to reduce climate emissions.

(L-r) founding president of the Global Recycling Foundation Ranjit Baxi and Susie Burrage, managing director of Recycled Products Ltd (picture: BMRA)

Ranjit Baxi, founding president of the GRF, said: “We are seeking the support of individuals and companies, directly or indirectly linked to the global recycling and environmental industry, to help us to meet this goal. By sponsoring the planting of 250,000 trees we can capture over five million tons of CO2 emissions which will have a dramatic impact on the damaging effects of climate change.”

The drive was kickstarted yesterday (17 March) when Chesham-based metal recycling firm Recycled Products planted 20 trees. The firm has committed to planting at least 250 saplings in the Chilterns.

Mr Baxi joined Recycled Product’s managing director Susie Burrage in planting the first tree, a prunus cherry plum.

Global Recycling Day

The GRF supports the promotion of recycling, and the recycling industry across the world. Supported by the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), it promotes Global Recycling Day as well as other educational programs, awareness projects and innovation initiatives which focus on the sustainable and inclusive development of recycling.

Several companies had already announced their plans as to how they would mark the day (see letsrecycle.com story). Recognising recycling as an essential industry is the theme for this year.

Mobile phones

Meanwhile, Grundon Waste Management has marked Global Recycling Day by teaming up with Gloucester-based communications solutions business Lister Unified Communications and football club Forest Green Rovers to encourage more recycling of unwanted mobile phones.

Discarded laptops, tablets and mobile phones are now the world’s fastest growing waste problem, Grundon says

Grundon will encourage its employees to donate their old and unwanted mobile phones to the Nelson Trust charity, a partner of Lister Unified Communications. The Trust runs a mobile phone recycling scheme which helps to generate money to make burner phones available to women in crisis and fund the other support it offers to its clients. The Stroud-based charity also provides support to people who have seen their lives be hit by addiction.

Lister sales manager Simon Gardner said: “Spring is almost here. It is a great time for a clear out to find any phones hiding away in a drawer, whether you’re working at home or returning to the office.

“A little thing can make such a difference to a local charity and also recycle old equipment rather than them going to waste.”

Plastic bread baskets

Elsewhere, a survey commissioned by bakery equipment firm Bakers Basco to coincide the Global Recycling Day had found half (46%) of the UK public feel that too much multi-use plastic is recycled unnecessarily.

Barkers Basco says bread baskets are are designed to last many years by using sturdy, reusable plastic

They survey also found that 56% believe councils and the government (46%) have a part to play in tackling the issue, according to the survey from YouGov.

The study looked to uncover public awareness about plastic bread baskets and other food goods delivery trays and containers, many of which are designed to last many years by using sturdy, reusable plastic, Bakers Bosco says.

Paul Empson, general manager of Bakers Basco, said: “There is a very real problem in the UK regarding the unnecessary recycling of plastic that is designed to be used over and over again.

“Millions of these baskets and other food delivery equipment go missing every year, presenting a growing problem for the UK’s transport and logistics industries, and the unethical recycling of stolen plastic items that don’t need to be recycled.”

Bakers Basco was set up in 2006 to buy, manage and police the use of a standard basket for the delivery of bread to retailers and wholesalers.

Plastic debit cards

Digital bank London Starling has introduced the UK’s “first” Mastercard debit card made from recycled plastic (rPVC).

rPVC will make up 75% of London Starling’s new debit card

The material, which is sourced from EU industrial waste from printing and packaging industries, makes up 75% of the card.

Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank, said: “The environment is important to our customers, so launching a recycled plastic debit card was the right thing to do. This new card comes with no deterioration in technical quality or capability, it simply supports people in their journey to become more green. We’re proud to be a branchless, paperless bank that runs on renewable energy. And now we’re delighted that we’re building on this with our new recycled cards.”

The bank is asking customers not to cancel their current cards for the new version, as the design will remain the same and it will create unnecessary waste.

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