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.
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,
The year is drawing to a close and I would like to take this opportunity to express to you all my gratitude for your support of our great world organisation over the past 12 months.
2016 has not been an easy year, neither for the industry nor for BIR. Markets remain volatile and challenging for most of our commodities, although for some there seems to be faint light at the end of the tunnel. We all know that, eventually, prices will go up again, but in the meantime we have to pay the bills. As a businessman, I know the problems that your daily business can bring, and I am very sympathetic to all of you who are working hard to make ends meet in this uncertain market.
In 2017, BIR’s leadership has decided to open up the Asian markets to its members by holding its international recycling conventions in Hong Kong and India. I know that some of you are concerned about the cost of attending two far-away conventions. I can assure you that this decision was not taken lightly. Exploring and promoting new business opportunities for our members has always been one of BIR’s foremost objectives, and I felt it was important for us to take you to the wider Asian markets so as to help in promoting, widening and building stronger market bonds with our global fraternity. BIR has never been afraid of taking risks on behalf of its members, but we cannot do this without you. I therefore hope that your company will continue supporting us and I wish to reassure you that this investment will certainly be rewarded.
Our conventions remain the premier meeting-places for our industry, across all commodities. But we hear you loud and clear when you complain that there are more people in the lobby than in the convention area. We have been trying for many years to find a way to stop this from happening; unfortunately, as long as these people find business partners, they will continue to come back. And let’s face it, don’t we all want to save costs and still enjoy the great business contacts that a BIR convention provides? Don’t we all want to have our cake and eat it? We all need to work together to stop unpaid delegates visiting our conferences.
BIR can only keep organising these events if our costs are covered and this is only possible because your continued support allows us as your organisation to deliver them. Our aim is to provide platforms for our members, to enable them to build on profitable leads and meetings at our conventions, and also to provide additional value in sharing sound advice on legislative matters.
I should also add that your team at BIR’s Brussels Secretariat and your Executive Committee are constantly working hard to defend, foster, encourage and promote the recycling industry, and have been doing so for almost 70 years. We are there, at the forefront of political discussions, to speak up on behalf of our industry across all borders. As such, we are unique. And we need your ongoing support to strengthen us so that we can continue promoting our industry.
In 2017, we will continue our visionary work to make the Global Recycling Day a reality. Eventually, this day will be celebrated across the globe and will make you proud to be part of this initiative.
Finally, I must call on you all to work together globally to share and spread the message that, each and every year, recycling saves over 700 million tonnes in carbon emissions, a great contribution to meeting the goals of climate change mitigation.
Let’s keep shaping our future together. And with this in mind, I want to wish you, your family and loved ones a very Happy and Prosperous 2017.
Ranjit S. Baxi