Global Recycling Foundation Announces Recycling Heroes & Creative Innovation Awards of Global Recycling Day 2023

The Global Recycling Foundation today announces the winners of their Recycling Heroes 2023 award marking Global Recycling Day 18 March.

Ten winners for the Recycling Heroes award of $1000 each and ten winners for Creative Innovation awards of $ 250.00 each were selected from nominations received from individuals and business leaders, sole traders, corporates and multinationals who have demonstrated creativity and innovation to promote the value of recycling in the toughest of economic climates. This year we focused on recognising creativity in 3 R’s – Reuse, Reduce & Recycle promoting resource efficiency, waste reduction & increased use of The Seventh Resource – essential raw material for the Industry.

Ranjit Baxi, Founding President of the Global Recycling Foundation (GRF), said: “The creativity of this year’s winners shows what we all can do to promote recycling when every regulatory and financial obstacle seems to have been placed in their way.

“When other priorities are confronting individuals and businesses, it is inspiring to see what our award winners are achieving around the world. GRF pays tribute to the example they are showing us all in the face of exceptional challenges as they uphold their focus on protecting the environment upon which we all depend.”

Winners of Recycling Heroes Award of $ 1000.00:

RecycleMich is Austria’s first recycling app, rewarding users for correctly collecting and recycling PET bottles, aluminum cans, and other plastic packaging. Besides incentivizing the app provides the users with useful guidelines regarding the proper recycling for packaging. There are currently 4,020,000 private households in Austria.

Green Deal, The Netherlands. From January 1st 2023 all coffee pods and tea bags may be put at biodegradable waste. This achievement is a joined effort of the industry for Coffee & Tea, the Dutch Government and the Dutch Waste Management Association. The objectives are achieved with 97% coffee pods and 93% teabags. The separation of coffee pods and teabags ensures on an annual basis 88 million kilograms of extra compost.

Finnsøn baby changing bags, United Kingdom. A small business started by 2 mothers, who design baby bags out of recycled PET in an effort to provide stylish and sustainable options to reduce ocean plastic and landfill.

Johnny Tungsubutra, Bangkok, Thailand. At his school, Johnny, 16, initiated a Recycling Pledge for the community by means of Learn, Act, and Share. He has been an active member of the Bangkok Patana School’s Student Environment Committee (SEC) for three years and currently serves as its secretary. He was also instrumental in launching “no idling” (not to keep the car engine running) initiative for all vehicles parked and waiting on the school grounds.

AECOM CSR Volunteer Team, Shanghai, China. The AECOM CSR volunteer team, as a representative of the company, sent 10 idle computers to the charity school “Xianyang Jiaosheng Children’s Home” to solve the needs of children in online courses in a timely manner. The group pays a lot of attention to the education and training of the next generation of talents.

St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn, Australia. Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn has been actively recycling since the opening of first retail shop in 1964, to provide recycled clothing and furniture to those in need. Our operations have grown continually creating a new life for second hand items that would otherwise end up in landfill. Vinnies now operates a warehouse and 27 shops across the ACT and surrounding region, processing over one million kilograms of donated goods each year.

Packages Group, Lahore, Pakistan. The organizations tries to reduce our ecological footprint by reducing waste, investing in renewable energy and managing natural resources more efficiently. Packages Group respects the environment and is aware of the corporate environmental responsibility. The group aims to take steps to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment and continually promote increased usage of The Seventh Resource – vital raw material for the industries.

STA – Catalina Integrated National High School, Majayjay, Laguna, Philippines: Personalized Emergency Pillow is an innovation for the safety of students, school personnel, government sector, private establishments. A Pillow made from recycled materials such as plastics and candy wrappers. This project is the school’s entry in International Competition, SEAMEO-Japan EDS Award with the theme: Addressing Plastic Problems for transforming communities. It ensures students’ safety in case of emergency, create a personalized emergency pillow made from recycled materials.

Project Mumbai, India. ‘The Mumbai Plastic Recyclothon’ , encourages Citizens of Mumbai to donate their plastic waste which gets picked up from the respective drop locations for recycling. They collect 2000 kgs of waste per month and make useful amenities like garden benches or public Dustbins, which are then donated back to society. 500+ people participate in the initiative every month, including schools, housing societies and even private corporations and Government organisations which now covers Thane & Navi Mumbai districts. They also conduct activities related to cleaning of water bodies & the Plastic collected is also recycled. Project Mumbai Supports events like ” Kalaghoda Art festival” with plastic garbage collection.

Imaji Victoria, Engu State, Nigeria. Victoria’s passion for championing and advocating for environmental sustainability started with her volunteering for clean up exercises, tree planting, and sensitization in public places and now an energetic & motivated member of the Eco-cyclers team. She has helped in promoting environmental engagement with several secondary school in Enugu state.

The winners of Creative Innovation Award of $ 250.00:

Svetlana Marusenko of Hungary. For raising awareness for our carbon footprint and teaching fellow students at the University of Pécs on how to recycle. Within the last year, Svetlana has managed to convince her peers to be more mindful or their contribution to the climate change and make adjustments to their lifestyle.

Why Idea, Arusha, Tanzania. WHY stands for Wasted, Human, Yields. A change making project which currently aims at recycling wasted papers in our environment to make reliable, durable, high quality, unique and environmentally friendly products which are furniture such as chairs, tables, desks, drawers, cupboards, beds, paper frame mirrors and paper canvas.

Green buddies, Uttar Pradesh, India. A non-profit organisation working towards fundamental right of children i.e. “The right to Play” by making Nature based playgrounds which include Playground building using trees wood and other natural materials.

UREMBO Africa Art Gallery, Uganda. A centre for African inspired Visual, Creative, Culinary and Performing Arts which offers products and training services to children, youth and stay home Mothers, Military spouses basing on programmes including: TRASH-TO-CASH and Friends with Nature.

Hugo Repáň, Germany. Hugo is a 22-year-old, who has been interested in the environment since high school which led him to find a new use for discarded cigarette butts, which are commonly considered to have no value, to see if they could be used to incorporate them into asphalt. He also partnered with others to install waste bins that looked like cigarette butts, to prevent people from throwing other types of garbage into them.

Eric Logan, Future Directions, Manchester, England. Future Directions is a ‘not for profit’ values based social care organisation which supports people with complex needs. Eric has always been passionate about recycling. During the coronavirus lockdowns in the UK he drew a picture of a ‘Recycling Man’ (re-using cardboard from a cereal box as his canvas of course) and told us that he wanted to show people how to recycle and tell them why it is so important.

African Clean up Initiative, Lagos, Nigeria. A non-governmental organization that is passionate about raising environmentally responsible citizens in Africa, focusing on environmental sanitation, environmental education and advocacy, environmental health, and community development It has been organizing community clean ups, corporate clean ups and awareness campaigns in Nigeria.

LCD Group, Milan, Italy. LCD ART&STYLE creates unique works of art using various grades and types of scrap metal like decorative table lamps shaped ostrich, sun, bicycle or flowers. The theme of beauty is presented through the synthesis of shapes, materials and colours that tell a story.

Original Home, The Netherlands. The mission is to become the most eco and socially sustainable interior brand on the planet that keeps the well-being and that of the makers in mind by using sustainable materials, low impact production and supporting artisans in the poorest areas of the world. Prize money will be used to help clean up beaches in Bali, Indonesia.

Woodfarm High School, Glasgow, UK: The group runs a recycling project within their school where they collect plastic bottles and cans and take them to a local recycling plant at a supermarket where we receive a 5p voucher for each item recycled. These vouchers are then used to buy food and supplies for the school food bank which is distributed to local families.

Source: Global Recycling Foundation (London, March 18, 2023)