And what you can do to make the planet greener and cleaner.

Plastic pollution is destroying the planet. As government and media shine a light on the issue, global awareness is rising, with initiatives such as Global Recycling Day, which falls this year on Saturday March 21st, leading change. The day invites participants to ‘Read’ about innovation in recycling, to ‘Learn’ about recycling heroes, and to ‘Do’ what you can to recycle more.

With reading, learning and doing very much in mind, we’ve teamed up with Waterlogic, who are looking to reverse the tidal wave of plastic through responsible practices, to bring you these; our 6 IDEAL recycling heroes and what you can do to make the planet greener and cleaner.

DAVID ATTENBOROUGH

Activists from across the world, known as Recycling Heroes, are urging governments and organisations to act now to tackle the climate emergency, with raising awareness of the importance of recycling as their key focus. The popular documentary Blue Planet has helped turn the tide on plastic pollution. Since it first aired, consumer goods companies have been compelled to become more green, introducing a wave of initiatives to counter pollution following what’s become known as the ‘Blue Planet Effect’. Big Business have had their hand forced; 88% of consumers who have seen the program admit they’ve cut the volume of plastics they consume as a result of what they saw. And continuing to vote with your wallet will push further welcome change.

The Blue Planet Effect has now become part of a wider media drive to push global awareness of plastic pollution. Finally, sustainable attitudes are prevailing. A host of leading brands, retailers, and packaging companies have pledged to work towards 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2025: a fact that surely makes David Attenborough a Recycling Hero as he has pushed businesses throughout the UK — including Ecover, Marks & Spencer and L’Oréal — to be eco-friendlier.

THE CITIES OF SAN FRANCISCO & SALFORD

The undisputed Queen of recycling cities, San Francisco has spent a decade implementing policies to reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill. These include improved public waste management alongside advice to citizens over how to discard items. Since 2013, the city has managed to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by 80%; amazing. 

In the UK, Brighton is leading the recycling charge, and is consistently named as Europe’s most sustainable city. Interestingly, in recent days the famously green seaside town was usurped in its title by Salford, which is now the ‘greenest place to live in England and Wales’, with more energy efficient homes and the lowest co2 emissions around.

OFFICEWORKS

Australia’s largest supplier of office and stationery products has launched a grassroots initiative called Restoring Australia which looks to redress the environmental balance in the country. It aims to plant two trees for every tree felled, using the weight of products sold by the company as the basis for calculations. Restoring Australia has partnered with Greening Australia for the work and has already helped restore degraded landscapes, rejuvenate bushland, and improve habitats for wildlife.

GRETA THUNBERG

Perhaps the most famous recycling hero of her generation, Greta Thunberg is an icon spearheading change as she pushes countries, governments and organisations to act more sustainably, as well as triggering a whole host of reactionary snowflakes in the process. You go Greta! 

Greta’s movement started in August 2018 as school children took a day off to strike outside the Swedish parliament. Her local stance evolved into a worldwide event known as Fridays For Future, with her influence — called ‘The Greta Effect’ — now commanding change on a global scale.

COLDPLAY

Though Chris Martin is much maligned for his Pyramid Stage ubiquity, his green credentials can’t be denied. Indeed, British band Coldplay have put plans to tour their latest album on-hold as they’re concerned about the environmental impact of their concerts. The band has pledged to review how they can make their tours more sustainable and have chosen to broadcast tours for free via platforms like YouTube in place of staging live events. 

AB INBEV

The world’s largest brewer wants to ensure 100% of its packaging is either returnable or made from recycled content by 2025; vital targets which many governments globally could learn from. They are working towards the milestone by working with suppliers to increase the recycling content used across their supply chain. AB InBev started with a 46% baseline rate but believes they are on track to meet their ambitions. 

If you know of another Recycling Hero who deserves global recognition, you can nominate your #RecyclingHeroes on the Global Recycling Day website. Alternatively, check out our tips on the 6 IDEAL ways you can play your part in saving the environment, and make small adjustments to your every day which can have big results on the future of the planet.