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New Year message from BIR Director General Arnaud Brunet Image 1

New Year message from BIR Director General Arnaud Brunet

  • 06 January 2023

Dear Members,

I hope you all enjoyed a restful end-of-the-year break and that you are ready to start 2023 “firing on all cylinders”. I wish you all, also on behalf of the BIR Secretariat, a very happy and prosperous New Year.

We have an exciting year ahead, with the milestone celebration of BIR’s 75th anniversary that we will share with you via a number of initiatives throughout the year. And to honour the founding fathers of BIR, we have decided to go to Amsterdam, the birthplace of our world recycling federation, for our May Convention 2023. It is also in Amsterdam that we will be electing a new President and Treasurer, a very important moment for our Federation.

When quickly looking back at 2022, I must say that despite the trying times, despite the pandemic still present after more than two years, despite a war in Europe, despite a complex economic situation, despite an energy crisis in some parts of the world and despite all the regulatory challenges and threats our industry is facing regarding “free and fair trade”, BIR did well in 2022. 

We have seen an incredible membership growth, with great momentum. On 31st December,  BIR had 870 members including a stunning number of 194 new members in 2022. We have also enjoyed two extremely successful World Recycling Conventions in Barcelona and Dubai, with record participation, first class programmes and “Challenges”, as well as amazing social events. Our finances have recovered from a difficult period of two years of pandemic. Last but not least, we have never been so active on the advocacy front and have reinforced our Secretariat for this, with the hiring of a Deputy Trade and Environment Director, Alev Somer. 

All in all, we have strengthened our position as the apex and global leading recycling federation.

These good news do not come out of the blue. During difficult times, we worked hard for the benefit of our members. In a collective effort, the BIR leaders, the President, the Treasurer, the members of the Executive Committee, the members of the Advisory Council and the Secretariat made these successes possible.

There is still a lot that needs to be done. The general trend points towards more uncertainty and complexity. Many new regulations that are supposed to pave the way to decarbonization and circular economy are diverting from their goals and will have opposite results. The European Waste Shipment Regulation revision is just one of many examples of unbalanced regulations, as are the ones emerging in South Africa, Malaysia or the Middle East. In an economy that is still global, consequences of such measures are not local or regional only. This is why we are, together with our national association members, totally dedicated to advocating our positions, defending our interests and offering other solutions to those who decide, wherever needed.

Since there is no strong advocacy without solid figures and data, together with our member associations we will strive to produce strong and meaningful studies and analyses. As an example, the positive contribution of our industry to decarbonization will be at the center of our efforts.

2023 will – again – be a year of many challenges. BIR will continue to reinforce its Secretariat, strengthen even more its cooperation with its member associations and increase its actions to support their members. And of course, we will have the pleasure of celebrating the achievements of our industry during Global Recycling Day and meet again at our World Recycling Conventions.

Stay tuned!

Very warm regards,

Arnaud Brunet
BIR Director General

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