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Global Recycling Day and why it’s important

18 Mar 2021

The 18th March 2021 is Global Recycling Day – a day created to champion the importance of recycling on a global platform.

The mission of Global Recycling Day, as set out by the Global Recycling Foundation, is twofold:
1. 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.
2. 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. *

As consumers and business professionals we know the importance of recycling wherever possible- we all try to do our bit by recycling glass, consumables and of course corrugated through the appropriate recycling channels.

On a consumer level, our household recycling rate in the UK according to latest figures is at almost 50%.

On an industry level some key statistics pertaining to the corrugated industry are:

• According to the EPRC (European Paper Recycling Council) a paper and board recycling rate of 83.6% was achieved in 2018. (Source: FEFCO)
• It is currently believed that the UK has a corrugated recycling rate of around 84%
• Already this exceeded the 75% target set in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (Source: FEFCO)
• There is an industry target of 85% by 2030 set by the European Commission (Source: FEFCO)
• On average new cardboard is made from 89% recycled content

So, it seems that the industry stats are all heading in the right direction. But what about how they integrate into the wider recycling market and the continued global awareness of recycling, not just in the corrugated sector.

The theme of this year’s day is ‘Recycling Heroes’. Whilst the forum is calling for our Recycling Heroes to be nominated, for us it’s about the key messages that the day is highlighting. Recycling is recognised in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030, it supports the global green agenda, and is a key part of the Circular Economy model.

Therefore, for us, the messages must be:

• To reduce what we need and to eradicate non-recyclable materials from the purchases we choose wherever possible
• To ensure responsible recycling takes place through the appropriate channels
• To explore new ways of dealing with hard to treat and hard to recycle materials that diverts it from landfill

We appreciate that this is a far-reaching subject and one that we couldn’t possibly do justice in our blog. That said, if we keep recycling front and centre of everyone’s minds, the hope is that more of us will become aware, more of us will become active and together we can make it possible.

*Mission statement as per the Global Recycling Foundation

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