New Year message from BIR Director General Arnaud Brunet

  • 10 January 2022


Dear BIR members,

Writing a New Year message may seem an easy exercise: quickly look back at the past year, select noticeable events, figures and information, and deliver an energetic, ambitious and positive message for the year ahead. I confess I even considered taking the easy road by copy-pasting my last year’s message and simply change the date. But you would probably have noticed…

On a more serious note, when I look back at 2021, among the dozens of facts and information that come to my mind, some of them really stand out.

The pandemic continued to impose its tempo in 2021. Wearing a mask; learning again, years after school, the Greek alphabet due to all the different virus variants; and having the almost three-monthly routine of a vaccine. Who could have foreseen all this? We have now learned to live with the pandemic. It has still sadly affected many of our family members, friends and relatives, but we have all decided that it will not stop our lives and our activities.    

The recycling industries around the globe have been under the pressure of external factors, especially about logistics, but most markets have remained solid and businesses very active and prospering.

And, in 2021, we finally met in person! Our October event in Brussels was a huge success, beyond our expectations despite the travel restrictions and health regulations. It was a pleasure and a relief to see so many smiling faces…underneath the masks.

Now, what about 2022? Being realistic, we are not leaving the zone of turbulence…yet. After Omicron, will we have a “Mu”, an “Upsilon”? What I do know for sure, is that if our industry was essential in 2020 and 2021, it will still and increasingly be vital for our Planet in the coming year(s). We have a responsibility and we will deliver. BIR will fight any unnecessary or unreasonable regulation and restriction that would limit our ability to operate in a free trade environment and hence miss the objectives of a true circular economy.

BIR will continue to defend the industry and promote our added value, without compromise, in the domains of global free trade, de-carbonisation and circular economy. The products our industry produces and trades are essential raw materials and not waste.   

Also, we are already working hard to organise our two in-person Conventions scheduled this year, in Barcelona in May and in Dubai in October. Fingers crossed, but if the planets align, they will be a great success.  

Lastly, I would like to thank once again our BIR leadership for their support, starting with President Bird and Treasurer Wahl, the Executive Committee members and all the other executives of BIR, the Secretariat team for their capacity to deliver an incredible service to the members in such a difficult time and last but not least, you, our members, for your loyalty and trust.

And now I can finally happily copy-paste my 2021 message:

“Don’t forget that you are BIR. We need you and your support, more than ever. Therefore, please renew your membership now.

Let me now sincerely wish you a very healthy, happy, successful… 2022!”

Arnaud Brunet
BIR Director General

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