About BIR

Founded in 1948, BIR was the first federation to support the interests of the recycling industry on an international scale. Today, BIR represents over 760 member companies from the private sector and 36 national associations in more than 70 countries. Together, these members form the largest international recycling federation.

The federation provides a dynamic forum for its members to share their knowledge and experience. It serves as a platform to establish successful business relations and to promote recycling among other industrial sectors and policy makers.

BIR is a non-profit organisation under Belgian law. Their statutes (Articles of Association) and Internal Regulations (including Guidelines for Chairpersons) were revised and approved in April 2016. The registered office is currently headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

Our Mission

The Bureau of International Recycling promotes materials recycling and facilitates free and fair trade of recyclables in a sustainable and competitive world economy.

Other key goals of BIR and its members are:

  • To speak as one voice representing the international recycling industries globally;
  • To raise public awareness of their economic and environmental contributions such as the reduction of energy consumption and of greenhouse emissions;
  • To promote free trade, the environmentally sound management of resources and the use of recycled materials worldwide;
  • To encourage manufacturers to design products with a better understanding of the possibilities for recycling;
  • To provide its members with a proper forum to discuss issues of importance to the international recycling community;
  • To provide its members, through arbitration, with a fast and efficient means to resolve commercial disputes.

Areas of Work

BIR offers its members timely information about the international recycling markets, their legislative context and the latest technologies. Its work is structured according to the following commodity divisions:

and commodity committees


A Word from BIR President Ranjit Baxi



Dear BIR members,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our industry is still going through one of the most testing periods we have ever experienced, a period in which demand and profitability are both suffering,      

Global trade continues to fluctuate with some Western and emerging economies showing a steady decline in demand and consumption while a few economies continue to post a slow, sustained recovery.

Over a year ago I became your newly appointed president, and I accepted this job with great humility and pride at the trust all of you have bestowed upon me.

I am reminded of the famous words of John F Kennedy who said:  "Our problems are man-made, therefore, they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. So I feel confident that working together we shall all be able to ride this challenging period that we are facing today.

Every year, our industry is responsible for a reduction of more than 700 million tonnes in carbon emissions across all commodities and recycling sectors. As a matter of fact, our recently-conducted update of the BIR report on the environmental benefits of recycling reveals annual carbon emission savings of 572 million tonnes for aluminium, copper and ferrous metals alone. This great contribution that we are all making to a greener planet needs to be recognised and the BIR secretariat is endeavouring to bring recycling to the forefront of the next climate change conference.

Recycling needs to grow globally and must not remain the luxury of the Western economies or a few emerging economies. To do this, we need not only to promote recycling awareness and education but also to improve and promote the knowhow of our industry globally. To help spread this message, we are proposing to organise a Global Recycling Day. Working together with the BIR secretariat and the Executive Committee supported by all our members, we aim to deliver this message globally and promote such a day, hopefully by 2017.

For the BIR secretariat and the Executive Committee to continue serving your industry, we constantly need your support in terms of the time that you give us, the financial support you offer both as members of BIR and by attending our conventions, and above all by continuing to be our honourable Green Ambassadors with all the work that you continue doing. On behalf of the Executive Committee, I wish to thank all our members wholeheartedly for their support and look forward to working together as a Global Recycling Family.

At a recent conference I met a young delegate who came to me to tell me how proud he was to have joined BIR as it has greatly benefitted him and his organisation within both in the domestic and the global industry. I was quite pleased to hear this but he then went on asking me how he now wanted to find ways of serving BIR – basically he reminded me that we do not need to ask what BIR has done for me but what I can do for BIR and the recycling industry.

It's only when all the global recycling leaders work together for BIR, thereby empowering BIR to continue strengthening the Global Recycling Industry, that we can face the challenges that the future brings. At all times, BIR and its members need to be ahead of the curve at all times, leading by example.

So I am thankful to this young business leader for bringing home the message that we all may have to freshen up in our minds.

Best regards

Ranjit S. Baxi
BIR President