Every year, the people of Planet Earth produce 2.1B metric tons of solid waste; 16% of the same gets recycled, thus, saving 700M metric tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere. However, 46% of trash, enough to fill 368,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, is disposed of unsustainably, i.e., they are either landfilled, incinerated, littered, or illegally dumped in the environment.

Therefore, a 16% recycling rate is not enough, and we need education, legislation, and action to combat this growing environmental and humanitarian crisis. Global Recycling Day, celebrated annually on March 18th, is a launchpad for businesses and individuals looking to make an impact.

Being in its fourth year, Global Recycling Day is dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the importance that recycling plays in preserving our natural resources and securing the future of our planet.

While there is some debate about the top six, most count water, air, oil, natural gas, coal, and minerals among the most important (and exploitable) natural resources. The Global Recycling Foundation names recyclables as “the Seventh Resource,” as recyclables supply 40% of the world’s raw material needs.

There is an abundance of a manufactured resource called “Plastic”, which produces more than 380M metric tons of virgin plastic, and a devastating 91% of it is never recycled. An even more adverse fact is that between 4.8M and 12.7M tons of plastic annually enter the oceans.

Another concern is deforestation; our world’s forests are logged for paper and pulp to create cardboard packaging and building materials. With the world overreaching in the name of economics, an estimated two-thirds of the world’s tropical rainforests have been destroyed or degraded to date. Such exploitation of resources has sparked concerns annually, leading to the launch of “Global Recycling Day.”

On March 18th, 2018, Global Recycling Day was established. People throughout the globe were encouraged to recycle, and the same has been encouraged through thousands of events worldwide. Social media campaigns have been a highlight to raise awareness and encourage recycling. All the efforts have created a discussion on a global level on recycling routines among everyone, from global leaders to companies to individual citizens.

The theme of Global Recycling Day 2023 is Creative Innovation, and the idea is to be creative and think out of the box to bring out new ways of recycling and reduce the burden on the environment. It is essential to highlight that putting recyclables in the bin is insufficient, and we need to be proactive and find new ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

History and Evolution

Since becoming an U.N.-recognized day in 2018, millions of people and businesses have joined hands to boost awareness about recycling through the Global Recycling Day initiatives.

Annual reports by various research and other government agencies estimate that the Earth might not live in the next decade if we do not curb our litter. Natural resources are threatened as pollution closes in on climate change as well. The previous decade has seen the most extreme temperatures in history, which causes not only natural devastation but also economic.

We all acknowledge that we must make significant changes to save our planet and lives, and this is precisely why Global Recycling Day was created in 2018. The holiday emphasizes the importance of recycling and conservation by educating the world about the status of our essential resources. The Global Recycling Foundation sets out the explicit goals of Global Recycling Day.

The foundation communicates directly with world leaders to combat the issue as a global team. Approximately 700 million tons of CO2 emissions were saved by recycling this year, and this will increase to one billion tons by the year 2030. Many other people, organizations, and governments directly endorse the global green agenda, facilitating higher recyclable numbers.

We have the power to make lasting changes to combat the climate crisis, and recycling is one essential goal recognized in the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

The Global Recycling Day timeline is as follows:

The Earth produces billions of tons of natural resources each year, but eventually, those resources will run out shortly. Global Recycling Day aims to combat this. The circular economy places a strong emphasis on recycling, which helps to safeguard our natural resources. Recycling prevents more than 700 million tonnes of CO2 emissions yearly, which is anticipated to reach one billion tonnes by 2030. Recycling is undoubtedly a front-line strategy in the battle for the survival of both people and the Earth.

Newspapers, plastic water bottles, soda cans, cereal boxes, and milk cartons are common everyday recyclable items. If we put effort into recycling items we usually throw away, we can impact the Earth and our lives more profoundly.

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