There are many arguments emphasizing the awesomeness of cans… canned food is nearly indestructible and can be used for almost everything. It doesn’t go bad even if the cans look dusty. As soon as they are empty, they can be used as flower pots, muffin tins, or candle holders and are then recycled and re-used for cars or bikes. So, why don’t we have a holiday to celebrate the magnificent can?! In fact – we do! For the first time ever, the world celebrated the Global Recycling Day. Almost exactly one month ago, on March 18, 2018, numerous cities and companies hosted events in order to raise awareness for the importance of recycling!
What’s Global Recycling Day?
“Global Recycling Day aims to change the mindset of governments, businesses, communities, and individuals around the world, to see recyclables as ‘resource – not waste’”. So, recyclables join the ranks of the six major natural resources on the planet: water, air, coal, oil, natural gas, and minerals. Global Recycling Day 2018 has succeeded in introducing and promoting the seventh resource which was the focus of diverse events around the globe.
Now you might wonder what kind of events I’m talking about… Glad you asked. Let’s recap!
Paris, 15 March: The Federation of Recycling Enterprises (FEDEREC) held a press conference to introduce and emphasize the importance of the seventh resource – recyclables.
Mongolia, 16 March: The Waste and Climate Change (WCC) Project organized a “Stop and Swap” event. The idea behind that is to get rid of things you don’t need and receive some you do need. Participants brought five items – ranging from clothes to books – that they did not need any longer and could swap them for something they liked. That’s actually the basic concept of recycling and thus very fitting for the Global Recycling Day.
Nigeria, 17 March: Chanja Datti Recycling Co gathered recycling fans and professional advocates and hosted “A Walk for Sustainability and Recycling”. The participants marched for two hours in order to take a stand in favor of recycling and were encouraged to wear a touch of green.
These and many other events were held on and around the first Global Recycling Day in London, Paris, Brussels, Sao Paolo, Washington, Sydney, Johannesburg, Delhi (India), and Dubai (United Arab Emirates). Hopefully, the list of participants will grow until the next Global Recycling Day in 2019.
Recycling Champion: The Can as a Role Model
Whenever we talk about recycling, it is inevitable to also talk about cans, because they are role models with regard to recyclability. That’s because they are made from packaging steel, which can change its form but not its structure. So, packaging steel can be used for almost anything, ranging from cars and airplanes to cutlery. The endless possibilities result in unbeatable recycling rates of the can. Two-thirds of the steel that’s used for the production of new items like cans come from recycled steel and only one-third is produced additionally. In numbers, that’s a recycling rate of 70 percent. So, every can that is recycled reduces the effort and emissions it takes to produce new packaging steel and gives us the possibility to engage actively in reducing packaging waste.
It was about time that we get a day to celebrate cans and promote recycling in general but keep in mind that recycling is everyday business. We are all responsible for the well-being of our planet and by using the seventh resource appropriately we take a first and very important step!
For more information about the new annual Global Recycling Day, follow the link and have a look at the official website!