BIR calls on governments to recognise recycling industries as essential activities

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03.04.2020 − 

The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) urges governments to formally recognise that recycling operations are essential businesses as they serve to protect human health and the environment. Furthermore, recycling operations are providing secondary raw materials, critical to downstream industries, some of them directly involved in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic, the global recycling association said in a statement.

"Recyclers provide the raw materials for critical manufacturing operations that are producing rebar, wiring, tubing, packaging and other key materials needed for everything from the construction of new hospitals to the manufacture of hospital beds, ventilators, toilet paper and other essential supplies in the current crisis, including packaging material for the shipping of these goods," the BIR commented.

"In light of their vital contributions in the current situation, it is important that the recycling industries are classified as essential activities and are enabled to continue to operate and that governments provide the necessary conditions and flexibility in this respect." The industry association says it recognises and fully supports the need to shut down certain businesses in order to stop the spreading of Covid-19.

The BIR represents - directly or indirectly - over 30,000 recyclers in more than 70 countries around the world, including 36 national recycling associations.

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