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  • BIR Copenhagen 2024 - Opening and Keynote Session: Recycling industry urged to be “loud and proud” in telling its story

BIR Copenhagen 2024 - Opening and Keynote Session: Recycling industry urged to be “loud and proud” in telling its story

  • 28 May 2024

BIR’s latest World Recycling Convention opened on a supremely upbeat note as it was revealed that, by the morning of the first day, the event in Copenhagen had already attracted an impressive 1721 participants. “This is a new record for BIR,” declared the world recycling organization’s President Susie Burrage OBE of UK-based Recycled Products Ltd, “and people are still registering.” This unprecedented number was made up of representatives from more than 790 companies from across 62 countries.

BIR had undertaken many impressive initiatives since its previous Convention in Abu Dhabi in October 2023, according to Ms Burrage. “One I am particularly proud of is the completion of BIR’s first member magazine, The Recyclist,” she told delegates in her introductory comments at Copenhagen’s Bella Center on May 27. “This beautifully laid out, glossy publication has been sent to all members and has been made available to the media, policy-makers and the general public.”

The positive tone was sustained throughout the subsequent keynote presentation delivered by Jim Lawless, founder and CEO of transformation architects Symmetry.inc. Voted No.1 Motivational Speaker outside the USA in the Global Guru rankings, he encouraged his audience to unlock their potential by writing their own next chapter in life rather than having it written for them. “You hold the pen,” he insisted.

Leaving our comfort zone for what he termed the “ugly zone” required us to act boldly, to commit to full completion of the objective, and to manage the internal voice that tells us we shouldn’t be doing something or weren’t capable of it. “Change starts with an event - you either wait or you create,” he explained. “When we create change, we break from the crowd.”

Mr Lawless is author of international best-seller “Taming Tigers: How to do things you never thought you could” while his second book - entitled “INSPIRE: How to lead others to do things they never thought they could” - is due out later this year. Clearly a man to walk the walk as well as to talk the talk, he became the deepest freediver in British history within eight months.

In bringing his presentation to a close, Mr Lawless had a clear and uplifting message for the recycling industry. “You created sustainability; you created preserving the world’s resources,” he insisted. “You need to tell the world that story, loud and proud.”

And he asserted: “This is your time. It’s Copenhagen 2024. It’s here and it’s now.”