Plastic waste in the oceans was one of the priorities at the Group of 20 summit in Japan, which took place on June 28 and 29. Ahead of the summit, in mid-June, environment and energy ministers of major economies of the Group of 20 met in Japan and agreed to adopt a new implementation framework for actions to tackle the issue of marine plastic waste on a global scale. As reported by the media, the Japanese government wants Japan to lead the world in reducing marine plastic garbage, including developing biodegradables and other innovations.
According to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Group of 20 is targeting, among other things, a closer collaboration for the construction of environmentally appropriate waste disposal as well as for recycling processes. The countries should report on a regular basis how they avoid waste and how they dispose of waste safely. Moreover, scientific topics should be included in the exchange of information as well. Regarding innovative measures, product design, circular economy, and resource efficiency matter particularly.
Recycling is representing a crucial solution to the problems of the environment. The recent convention of the Bureau of International Recycling in Singapore in May this year demonstrated how important the subject has become. During this event, the report on this year’s “Global Recycling Day” revealed that several hundred media hits reached more than 687 million people around the world. Other statistical highlights were millions of online impressions on social media, global events, and a growing number of companies engaging with the “Day”. The keynote speaker Dr Gabrielle Walker insisted in her presentation at the BIR convention that climate change is no longer the preserve of “tree-hugging” environmentalists but instead has become “something which hard-headed businessmen need to be thinking about, and are thinking about” – not least because of the associated “risks to financial stability”. According to the expert strategist who assists businesses in their response to global challenges such as sustainability and the circular economy, the last 18 months have brought “a seismic shift” in the attention paid by the business community to the many risks associated with climate change, she underlined. Dr. Walker agrees with experts that more recycling can deliver extensive cuts in carbon emissions. “This is going to put the recycling industry right in the spotlight,” she said. The most striking example is metal recycling. According to experts, raising the electric arc furnace (EAF) production to 40 percent in world steelmaking would cut global carbon dioxide emissions by 400 million tons.
Given the quantities of e-waste generated every year – nearly 50 million tons in 2018, according to estimates – and its value of over 60 billion US-Dollar, recycling should be a priority. According to the report “A New Circular Vision for Electronics – Time for a Global Reboot”, published by the World Economic Forum, recycling rates globally are low. One of the reasons is the complex waste stream which contains up to 60 elements from the periodic table. In this issue, you will find an overview of the market (page 28) and the opportunities associated with a circular economy. Furthermore, the American electronic recycling and e-waste company ERI describes, how it continues to follow its “Green is Good” motto and maintains a core commitment to sustainability and the environment (page 15 onwards).
A further focal point is the recycling of tires. You will find the information regarding Europe, the USA, China, and other parts of the world from page 4 onwards and on page 9.
Source: MSV GmbH / www.global-recycling.info