18 March 2022

Recycling builds bridges to a sustainable future

Global Recycling Day 18 March 2022

Recovering raw materials prevents shortages and builds bridges to a sustainable future. Recycling is the pathway to a clean environment, contributes to the circular economy and protects the climate. And each kilogram of recycled waste delivers a guaranteed reduction in carbon emissions. That is the message our chairman Boris van der Ham delivers in a video we publish today, Global Recycling Day.

‘Worldwide only 9% of raw materials are recycled, so there is a big opportunity if we can up that number,’ says Marc den Hartog (Renewi), chair of the Recycling Section of the Dutch Waste Management Association (DWMA). In the video he underlines how important it is to work together. Recycling is one of the solutions to the major challenges the world is currently facing.


Climate potential of the waste sector

By recycling and reusing raw materials the European waste sector can make a major contribution to delivering Europe's climate ambitions. A recent study by Prognose and CE Delft shows that European carbon emissions will fall by 150 million tonnes if we can achieve the twin targets of 65% recycling and a 10% reduction in the landfilling of recyclable waste. For comparison: the Netherlands’ annual emissions in 2020 were 138 million tonnes.

Recycle more

In the Netherlands we have a recycling rate of almost 80%. But we can go further by making more use of recycled materials in products, and manufacturers can ensure that their products are easy to recycle. One way to do this is to work with waste and recycling companies. The members of the DWMA have the expertise, experience and the resources to keep materials in the value chain for as long as possible. Consumers can also help by checking whether products can be repaired, reused or recycled before they buy them. And governments can shape policy to stimulate the market for secondary raw materials. So we all have a part to play in making society more sustainable.

Global Recycling Day

On Global Recycling Day, 18 March, we are putting recycling in the spotlight and showing the world just how important it is. Global Recycling Day was established to bring the world together to promote and encourage recycling. By recycling as many raw materials as we can we make them available for reuse, tidying up our living environment in the process as well as benefitting the climate and improving environmental quality. Global Recycling Day was created by the Global Recycling Foundation. The DWMA is one of the Foundation’s partners. The Foundation calls recycling the Seventh Resource. It says that six natural resources – water, air, oil, natural gas, coal and minerals – are the basis of our existence, but that these resources are finite and rapidly running out. The simple solution to this is recycling – the Seventh Resource, which can be used again and again.