‘Global governments must unlock hidden waste treasure’

A new report calls for international leaders to demonstrate the impact recycling can have on improving the environment

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By Jonny Bairstow

As well as water, air, oil, gas, coal and minerals the Earth has another vital resource – waste.

The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) has urged world leaders to demonstrate the significant impact it says recycling and reuse can have on improving the environment and tackling climate change.

The group has called for international agreements promoting recycling to be implemented and strengthened, for the public to be taught more about the benefits of being green and for sustainable trade and companies to be promoted.

It also says a common language of recycling should be introduced, using the same definitions and messages to reduce confusion.

BIR suggests local governments must make recycling a community issue, work with industry to encourage ‘end-of-life’ functionality at the design stage and support innovation, research and initiatives to foster better recycling practices.

Ranjit Baxi, President of the BIR, said: “The Earth’s resources are finite; they are rapidly running out and once gone, they’ll be gone forever.

“A global mindset shift is required and the support of the world’s leaders is essential to promote, educate and implement uptake of the ‘seventh resource’.”