As part of this year’s Global Recycling Day, taking place on Thursday (18 March), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says it is encouraging small companies to put “recycling at the heart of business”.
This comes as a string of other companies have also announced initiatives to mark the day.
Now in its sixth year, Global Recycling Day is spearheaded by the Global Recycling Foundation, and in 2021 will aim to “recognise recycling as an essential industry”.
It will also look to celebrate the achievements of “outstanding individuals” who have gone the extra mile to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Founding president of the Global Recycling Foundation, Ranjit Baxi said: “It is not enough to nominate and promote our heroes but to also ask ourselves the question, ‘what more can I do’? We can all do more individually and corporately to help restore and preserve the environment of our planet.
“The waste stream continues to grow at a frightening rate which we cannot just ignore or worse, pass on to future generations to handle. Let us all act responsibly and save ourselves for the climate catastrophe.”
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says it is encouraging small businesses across the country to join the fight against climate change by going green and putting recycling at the heart of business, as one of the steps they can take to play their part.
It highlighted examples from three small businesses of how they have “taken responsibility for their own recycling habits”, and how through new and simple initiatives they are working towards a more “sustainable future for our planet”.
The first of these was fashion brand Stay Wild, which said it will be encouraging customers to send back old swimwear for recycling this Global Recycling Day, as part of a new circularity project.
The business will also take pre-orders to minimise any waste, and make “high quality pieces” that last longer, to encourage consumers to buy less.
The second was skincare brand Tropic, which will mark Global Recycling Day by launching its first fully recyclable product.
Founder of the company, Susie Ma, said that its colour palette was created to bring a “sustainable solution to the beauty industry” that would generate less landfill waste.
“The process of recycling aluminium saves around 95% of the energy needed to make the metal new from raw materials.” – Susie Ma, Tropic
She explained: “The palette can be refilled by simply replacing the product pans once empty. The product pans are made of aluminium, which is infinitely recyclable. The process of recycling aluminium saves around 95% of the energy needed to make the metal new from raw materials, and it can be repeated infinitely without any loss of quality.”
The third example was small batch gin business, Shed 1 Gin, which highlighted the design of its packaging, which is recyclable, reusable or compostable.
Co-owner of the company, Zoe Arnold-Bennett said: “We invested in a cardboard shredder, which shreds cardboard into nets which we then wrap our bottles in. The cardboard comes in from goods ordered, and we reuse it by shredding it and using it to package the goods we send out. When needed we supplement with green, compostable bubble wrap which, if it ends up in landfill, degrades and adds nutrients to the soil. Our corks are also recyclable as are our paper labels.”
Elsewhere, metal recyclers such as European Metal Management (EMR) and Sims Metal Management, are marking Global Recycling Day by announcing that they want to “help meet growing consumer demand” for more eco-friendly and recycled products.
The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) said that this year’s Global Recycling Day will also serve as a reminder that “we all must play a part in achieving net-zero”.
It added that even though metal recyclers have a “great starting point” as recycled materials are inherently low carbon, this however, “does not mitigate them” of the responsibility of working on reducing its own carbon footprint.
Electrical manufacturer, Dixons Carphone, also announced that it is using the day to highlight its recycling operations and reuse network for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE).
The business said that it believes all tech is valuable, and will continue to “lead the charge” in helping the UK recycle unwanted technology as quickly and easily as possible.
According to Mr Baxi, local authorities also have a key role to play in this year’s Global Recycling Day.
Mr Baxi said councils have a “very big part” to play in one of the most “challenging aspects” for the recycling industry, which is education and awareness.
He explained: “I believe that councils should do a lot more to educate the people into what is recyclable, and what is not recyclable. Councils need to work with the industry to ensure that they are also playing the part in ensuring that they are helping promote increasing collections, and use of recyclable materials in the manufacturing process.”