Work with the UN

In 2018, Global Recycling Day was recognised by UNIDO, a key initial step in our journey to gain recognition as an official day in the UN calendar.

A petition was launched as part of the Global Recycling Day 2018 celebrations, aimed at the UN and world leaders, which called for recycling to be a truly global concern and an officially recognised day. It amassed over 11,500 signatures and was a cornerstone in the 2017/18 campaign.

We received words of support from many key UN Originations in the build to 18 March 2018:

“Clearly, the environmentally sound management of hazardous and other waste is a complex issue which requires concerted actions by countries, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders. Every individual, every family, every household can and must participate in this quest. I believe that the launch of the Global Recycling Day is an important step in this direction – prompting people across the world to work together – on waste – towards a more sustainable future for all.” Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

“I am pleased to celebrate and share in recognizing the importance of the world’s first Global Recycling Day, acknowledging recycling as crucial to realising the sustainable development agenda. At the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), we recognize that changing attitudes and mindsets is crucial to achieving the Future We Want by 2030. Sustainable development and the targets included in the 2030 Agenda will only be achieved if we as individuals, communities and societies change our everyday habits, actions and consumption and production patterns.” United Nations Assistant Secretary General Nikhil Seth

Stephan Sicars, Director of Environment at UNIDO, gave these words of support for Global Recycling Day 2018

In September of 2018, the Bureau of International Recycling and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization stepped up efforts to have Global Recycling Day recognised as an official United Nations day.

In a side event organized by BIR during the 11th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG) in Geneva, BIR and UNIDO emphasized the need to celebrate the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious primary resources. It was at this event that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two organisations, joining forces to drive home the importance of recycling.

“We are delighted to be working with UNIDO in our efforts to have Global Recycling Day recognised as an official UN day,” said BIR President Ranjit S. Baxi. “We are determined, in collaboration with UNIDO, to build on the momentum we’ve sparked since launching Global Recycling Day in March”.

Speaking at the side event were also Frank Van Rompaey, Head of UNIDO’s Geneva office, and Katharina Kummer Peiry of Kummer EcoConsult and former Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention.