The Global Recycling Foundation is the first to applaud the efforts around the world from brands and manufacturers in changing our habits when it comes to the creation, consumption and disposal of products. But, to date, the steps that have been made remain small, and crucially time is not on our side.
If we are honest, we are simply paying lip service to recycling – barely making any impact in rectifying the damage we have already caused.
If we are to see successful impacts from recycling, those who produce goods must work in tandem with recyclers. The fact is when a product reaches the end of its life someone must deal with it and the best person to do that, from a resource and environmental point of view, is the recycler. There should be no alternative.
Quite simply we must do more to reduce, reuse and recycle so that we can make a positive impact on the world around us. The future must focus on the circular economy.
Humans have consumed more resources in the last 50 years than in all previous history and reports indicate that we have just 12 years to reverse the damage that has already been caused.
There is still much to be done to deliver the change leaders and policy makers across the globe are talking about and put in place the infrastructure for a truly circular economy.
Efforts must be co-ordinated and consolidated across the world – we need a globally consistent approach towards recycling. Even in a thriving city like London, one which is advanced in terms of recycling habits and infrastructure, each Borough has its own rules as to what can and cannot be recycled. Magnify that across the country, the continent, the world and we see just how much we are failing ourselves and future generations.
Unless producers and recyclers work together to streamline processes, educating the world on the manifest benefits of recycling will remain a near impossible task.
I urge the change makers across the world to work with the industry and with foundations with an interest in sustainability that represent the practice of recycling globally – such as the Global Recycling Foundation – to implement radical and transformative change world-wide.
The future is for our children and our children’s children. It is our responsibility to do all that we can to protect our planet.
The topic of sustainability, the future of the planet, and how we collectively must change our habits for the better, has never been more centre stage than it is now. Governments, NGOs, private and public businesses, environmentalists, economists, entrepreneurs, innovators and disruptors must band together to find new solutions, and new solutions fast.
Together we can make a difference.