Global Recycling Day, it's in our hands

By Kia Clark.

Thursday the 18th of March marks the fourth annual Global Recycling Day.

Beginning in 2018, the day was created to help recognise the importance of recycling to preserve precious primary resources and secure the future of Earth. Our planet is undeniably experiencing a climate crisis.

The Earth is heating up, and that doesn’t just mean better weather, on the contrary, a warmer climate could result in more rainfall, unpredictable seasonal changes, melting ice caps and rising sea levels. The top three contributors to this emergency state are burning fossil fuels, farming and deforestation: all of which negatively impact wildlife around the globe.

And it’s not just animals that are affected by climate change, people are impacted too. Farming communities, notably those in developing countries, are facing rising temperatures, increased rain fall, floods and drought, all of which disturb living conditions and livelihoods.

Luckily for us, there is still hope. We can still make lasting changes to remedy this, and as recycling is recognised in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030, we are already seeing governments and organisations begin to tackle the climate crisis.

The Global Recycling Day website states that, ‘recycling is a key part of the circular economy, helping to protect our natural resources. Each year the ‘Seventh Resource’ (recyclables) saves over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions…there is no doubt recycling is on the front line in the war to save the future of our planet and humanity’.

So, what can we, as individuals, do to maximise the power of recycling and celebrate Global Recycling Day?

Educate yourself

We all know that paper and cardboard can go into the recycling bin, but do you know which plastics can and can’t be recycled? Have a browse of the Recycle Now page and brush up on your bio-plastics and biodegradable plastics… just because a plastic is made from bio-based sources, does not automatically mean it will biodegrade!

Litter pick-ups

Being an outdoor activity, this is something we can still do during Covid-19 restrictions. Grab some gloves, some bags and get grabbing. Litter finds its way into every community: every beach, river, park. There is no shortage for it to be collected and appropriately sorted into disposable categories.

Organise your wardrobe

If there are clothes that no longer fit you, don’t throw them away! You can donate them to a charity shop, sell them online, or pass on to friends and family.

Similarly, when shopping for new items, avoid fast fashion retailers and opt for second hand or sustainable brands.

We can combat the climate crisis and recycling will help us do that. We can do better.

Take a look at the Global Recycling Day website and Recycle Now for more resources and inspiration.

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle