To mark Global Recycling Day, the Global Recycling Foundation announced the ten #RecyclingHeroes who have each won a $500 prize thanks to their dedication and innovation in local recycling. The winners were selected from nominations received from several countries across the globe covering all the main continents. Their work spans all parts of the recycling industry from plastic to textiles and household items.
The ten winners are:
- Rien Voets, Holland – He is a symbol of the many people who voluntarily work to clean our living environment every day. Since retiring as a Teacher, Rien Voets joined a local Municipality to work as a Volunteer litter picker. He goes out every day on his bike, which has a trailer hooked up to it, to collect litter all around his township.
- Green Axis, Nigeria – promoting cleaning and recycling campaign in Enugu city of Nigeria. Working with volunteers who help in organising regular clean up drives collecting recyclables whilst helping to restore the environment to a safe and clean one. The group also run local educational programs on the importance of recycling with the communities.
- Abdi Hirsi, Somalia – started as volunteer with a motto of “waste is a resource” and now owns an award-winning pioneer recycling company based in Mogadishu, Somalia. Started first Plastic Recycling plant using World Bank grant, is today serving 17 districts in Mogadishu producing house construction items.
- Bokashi Bran (Pty) Ltd, South Africa – promotes the recycling of food waste to compost using their unique bokashi system. To date, it has been instrumental in guiding customers to divert about 30 000 tonnes of food waste from landfill. It manufactures bokashi on a commercial scale while providing training and education on food waste separation at source and composting. Composting food waste cuts GHG by 98%.
- EcoAct-Tanzania, a social enterprise, manufacturing eco-friendly building materials from plastic waste by using an in house developed technology “Waxy II Technology” that is chemical free & energy conserving plastic extrusion system. Promoting circular economy whilst preserving forests by reducing consumption of Timber.
- International WeLoveU Foundation, Korea – Launched in 2001 from Korea today works in 63 countries associated with UN DGC helping promote the environment by planting trees, clean up campaigns across beaches, parks, communities & even in mountainous areas. In 2020 launched a “Recycling Challenge” campaign to help raise awareness of PPE pollution from the disposable products used during the COVID pandemic.
- Dgrade, Dubai UAE – Working with over 200 schools in UAE, promoting beach clean-up campaigns, organising education workshops in increasing collection of plastics which is used in manufacturing sustainable clothing. Working with communities to reduce waste to landfill, increasing participation, a good business community model of participation.
- Eco-Train, Canada – A first in the Industry to promote the collection of phone cases in an industry wide collaborative effort. The speed of change in the phone industry sees vast quantities of discarded phone covers and phones, and so promoting recycling in this sector is of utmost importance.
- Metal Shredder, Hungary – An innovative way of extracting elements from Xray films and promoting use of recovered silver and extracts used to make filters for use in face masks during the Covid crisis. main focus is the sustainable and efficient recycling of e-waste, extraction of precious and base metals from end-of-life components.
- Eco Spindles Private Ltd, Sri Lanka – Largest recycler in Sri Lanka producing yarn using PET flakes circumventing the traditional polymerization process. Have initiated several waste collections drives across Sri Lanka from Fishing harbours, Beach clean-up drives, local communities and schools. Promoting innovative sustainable practices across the country including introduction of a Waste Recycling awareness app for smart phone users.
The #RecyclingHeroes competition, which was launched in February 2020, encouraged people from across the globe to nominate individuals, business or communities that are setting examples and pushing boundaries with their recycling initiatives. In addition to receiving a $500 prize, the Global Recycling Foundation will promote the ten winners’ work to audiences across the world.
The fourth annual Global Recycling Day took place on 18th March with individuals, businesses, cities, and communities marking the day on social media, in their homes and communities. Ranjit S Baxi, Founder and President of the Global Recycling Foundation said: “Once again this year there has been an astonishing variety of entries from countries around the world making it very difficult to select just ten winners. But for us every single entrant is a hero and champion for your contributions in the vital campaign to combat climate change and drive home the message of recycling and sustainability.”