Recycling must be recognised as key solution for climate change

The Bureau of International Recycling emphasizes the importance of recycling for the reduction of CO2 emissions on the sidelines of COP21 in Paris.

Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) World President Ranjit Baxi today explained the environmental benefits and huge potential of recycling in the fight against climate change in the framework of the COP21 meetings, during an event organised by the French recycling association FEDEREC.

In his speech at the event held in the Grand Palais, Mr Baxi explained that the early results of BIR’s updated report on “Environmental Benefits of Recycling” allow the conclusion that the CO2 savings achieved through recycling are on the rise: for aluminium, savings amount to 92% compared to primary production, for copper 65% and for ferrous 58%. The first BIR report on “Environmental Benefits of Recycling” (published in 2008) showed a substantial 500 million tonnes of CO2 emission savings through recycling, which is the equivalent of the total annual carbon dioxide emissions of the global aviation industry.

Mr Baxi intends to spread the message about the benefits of recycling as widely as possible. “We as citizens of this planet earth need to start understanding and realizing that recycling is crucial for all of us and that it can really benefit our planet,” he said. Mr Baxi also stressed that the figures in the study were rather conservative and that not all commodities had been taken into account. “My personal evaluation is that the recycling industry saves up to 700 million tonnes of CO2 per year, which adds up to several billion tonnes over past decades”.

He said supporting recycling and, by extension, the recycling industry was a crucial step towards the protection of the climate worldwide. Governments should understand that recycling needed to be encouraged and fostered by facilitating free trade of recyclables internationally, he said. “Substituting primary raw material with secondary raw material saves energy, reduces CO2 emissions and saves resources,” he added.


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