To mark Global Recycling Day, the Global Recycling Foundation has announced the ten #RecyclingHeroes who have each won a $1,000 prize thanks to their dedication and innovation in local recycling. The winners, selected from over 2,000 entries, are from across the globe, covering eight countries and all the main continents. Their work spans all parts of the recycling industry from plastic to textiles and household items.
The ten winners are:
Plogging Club – Nigeria. A movement inspiring young people across Nigerian campuses to take action for the climate through exercise that combines jogging with picking up litter and recyclables.
Reform Africa – Uganda. Tackles waste disposal by transforming plastic waste into sustainable, waterproof and durable bags, employing youth to collect the plastic waste, and single mothers who wash and tailor the products.
U-Recycle – Nigeria. A youth-led non-profit organisation working to promote a circular economy in Nigeria through reinforcing a sustainable recycling culture, investing time and resources into educating schools and communities about the value of recycling.
Zizo Ezi Foundation – South Africa. A non-profit organisation that operates in South Africa in the Eastern Cape and works with school children in rural areas teaching them on the benefits, as well as the do’s and don’ts regarding a clean eco future in South Africa.
Anuya Trivedi, Founder of Greenbuddies – India. An organisation that creates eco-designed, cost effective ‘Recycled Play Stations’ for children out of tyres and other reusable scraps.
Aribe Bajwa, Founder of Youth Social Ambassadors – Pakistan. A youth-based organisation working towards community empowerment and specifically towards environmental causes, including planting 300,000 plus trees and providing training and awareness sessions on conservation of environment at different institutions.
Made by TREID – Philippines. Made by TREID extends the life consumption of old clothes and uniforms to reduce environmental waste by transforming them into higher valued products such as multifunctional and fashionable shoes and bags, home accessories and new fabric, while also providing job opportunities to disadvantaged people.
Ecolana – Mexico. A social impact company focused on inclusive recycling practices in Mexico. On the one hand it is a digital platform with a recycling guide (a map and a waste-materials dictionary) that guides consumers on how and where to recycle, and on the other it helps consumer brands develop recycling programmes.
Cappabue National School – Ireland. This small school in Cork is raising awareness of climate change with their viral rap video ‘One Small Change’, a response to polluted beaches in Co Cork.
Nick Oettinger, Managing Director and Founder of The Furniture Recycling Group – UK. The TFR Group is helping to tackle the UK’s mattress landfill problem, diverting 400,000 mattresses away from landfills each year. The company has recycled more than 1.5m mattresses since launching, and is continually investing in research to make the recycling of mattresses more viable and much more efficient.
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 $1,000 prize, the Global Recycling Foundation will promote the ten winners’ work to audiences across the world.
In addition to this, 100 #RecyclingHeroes from all over the world will also be recognised in the coming days, to celebrate the work of the unsung and local heroes in the recycling industry globally. Ranjit Baxi, Founder and President of the Global Recycling Foundation says, “We are proud to recognise the world’s unsung #RecyclingHeroes, from children, schools, teachers and professionals to businesses and communities, and everyone in-between. Global Recycling Day allows everyone to play their part in the circular economy, help protect our natural resources and build a better future for generations to come. Anyone can be a #RecyclingHero – no matter how big or small their recycling initiatives are.”