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Recycle to prevent a wasted Earth

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By Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri
The Bureau of Middle East Recycling (BMR), one of the biggest contributors to a greener environment especially in metal recycling, met with more than 450 delegates from across the world in Dubai.

The recently-held sixth convention of the Dubai-based scrap merchants called for broadening awareness among people for proper disposal of garbage, especially toxic metals and beverage cans, and marshalled out a plan of action for the industrialists across the region and beyond.

BMR secretary-general Mir Mujtaba Hussain underscored the need for a more-galvanised plan of action while the world economy limps back to normalcy. He said that trillions of tonnes of scrap and waste products are there out in the world, and all that is needed is a mechanism and the determination to make it reusable, rendering the Earth free from toxics.

Hussain said that more than 800 companies are dealing with scrap in the UAE, which is a record in upholding environmental concerns. He told the delegates that recycling is one of the largest industries in the world, and it has changed from a casual activity of scrap collecting to a professional entity in dealing with recycling.

"The professional approach that set in after the 1990s has made it a vibrant industry, and there is no dearth of expertise and resources in the UAE today," he said, adding that the UAE leads from the front, as it gears up for hosting Expo 2020, and comes up with an infrastructure and accessories that are greener in content. Hussain said that with Dubai being strategically-placed in terms of geography and with the development of largest man-made ports in Jebal Ali, there is no looking back for the scrap and recycling industry.

BMR president Salam Al Sharif said that recycling is indispensable, and all is needed is to join hands for recreating a new environment.

Ranjit Singh Baxi, president of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), said that he wants to see more entities from the Middle East to come forward to further the concept of recycling. Baxi said that it is still untapped, and there is enough room for cooperation between various industrial giants in the region, and in India and China. He lamented that there are only 49 members in the GCC, and said that it could be better. He said the recycling story is yet to be told in the region.

The Indian tycoon pointed out two missions for the industrialists - promote global recycling and work together for recycling bodies. He also called for more stringent regulatory bodies for this purpose, and underscored the need for reorienting them in a professional manner.

The Baxi said that global economies are slowing down due to the debt burden of respective countries, and this is where activity in the recycling and scrap industry can infuse new undercurrents. He pointed that China's economy is to the tune of $11 trillion, with a growth rate of an average six per cent.

"This is more than enough coupled with the United States' $18 trillion GDP, to put aside economic sluggishness." Moreover, he said India is the world's fastest-growing economy, and that too with a growth rate of above seven per cent. Baxi detailed that Brexit hasn't impacted the European Union in an adverse manner, and the forthcoming oil boom in the Middle East are benchmarks for a successful rebound.

Calling for recycling to be a global phenomenon, Baxi said that sustainable growth module is the way to go. He said that 35 national federations worldwide are working to promote globalisation in the recycling avenue.

Mark Lewon, chair of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, feared that the Donald Trump administration could spur protectionism. He said that joining of hands could help fight such a trend. Lewon said the concept of free trade and globalisation is on the edge.

He elucidated that scrap exports have fallen by nine per cent average, and the top five destinations for US scrap are Turkey, Kuwait Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

He said developing new markets and promoting free trade would be critical, and provide an opportunity for recyclers in the Middle East and beyond to play a major role.

The delegates resolved to make the Middle East a haven for scrap dealers, and foresaw a great opportunity in the UAE to set up their recycling concerns.--khaleejtimes.com

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