Upcoming World Recycling Convention in Abu Dhabi: BIR turns towards the future under the leadership of first female President in 75-year history

The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), the global federation of recycling industries, is bringing its World Recycling Convention to Abu Dhabi, taking place between 22nd and 24th October at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. The event promises to be a landmark occasion as it is the organisation’s first global event under the leadership of Susie Burrage OBE, the first female President in the 75-year history of BIR.

The second BIR World Recycling Convention in 2023 serves as a nexus for the recycling industry and is set to attract over 1,000 attendees, from more than 500 businesses across 50+ countries, cementing its status as one of the most significant gatherings for recycling experts, businesses, innovators, and traders worldwide. The delegates will have the opportunity to explore the latest trends and innovations in recycling commodities, market dynamics, and future projections, offering valuable insights into the industry’s impact on the global economy.

The Gulf region’s growing importance in recycling

The Gulf region is a vital hub for the international recycling community and is home to some of the most dedicated and forward-thinking business leaders in the industry. Over 70 BIR member companies and national associations are located in the region, and – together with many first-time observer companies – they represent the strongest delegation attending the World Recycling Convention in Abu Dhabi. The Emirate is hosting a BIR Convention for the first time, after several events already organised in Dubai, reflecting the region’s ever-increasing prominence within the recycling landscape.

First Convention under the leadership of Susie Burrage OBE as BIR President

Susie Burrage OBE, BIR’s pioneering first female president, has taken the reins of the organisation at a pivotal moment in its history, with membership at a historic high (over 1000 companies and national associations) and several record-breaking Conventions. Championing diversity across the industry, she emphasises the importance of inclusivity and innovation. Her choice of the Convention’s opening session theme, “BIR – 75 Years and Beyond”, reflects her commitment to honouring the past while unwaveringly focusing on the future. This milestone Convention will set the tone for her tenure, embodying BIR’s core values of unity and progress.

Susie Burrage comments: “I am immensely proud to lead this Convention as the first female President of BIR, and it’s an honour to stand at the forefront of an industry that is increasingly breaking barriers. My vision is clear: I want to empower BIR members to be given the recognition they deserve as the cornerstone of a global circular economy, ensuring that raw materials from recycling can be freely traded across borders. Our goal is to make our voices heard by showcasing BIR and recycling as the sustainability-forward, innovation-rich, and economically vital industry that it truly is.”

Over the coming months we will be announcing new initiatives that will not only benefit our membership but also highlight what a vital part of the world economy we are – a critical cog in ensuring the long-term viability of people and planet.”

Keynote Address by Matthew Griffin: “Recycling the Future”

The keynote address, which is part of the Convention’s opening session, will be delivered by renowned futurist and foresight expert Matthew Griffin. His presentation, titled “Recycling the Future”, will delve into the future of our society with a specific nod to our industry, exploring how factors such as artificial intelligence, technological progress, and globalisation are impacting the sector. Attendees can look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the industry’s evolving landscape and the opportunities and challenges it presents.

The Convention programme also features a wide array of commodity sessions covering vital aspects of the recycling industry. With discussions on topics such as the recycling of black mass, the impact of carbon neutrality on steel trade, a global shift in recovered fibre trade and the implications of the new global plastics treaty, the Convention’s overall agenda reflects the dynamic innovative nature of the recycling sector.

Arnaud Brunet, Director General of BIR, adds: “The BIR secretariat is working hard to offer our members and Convention attendees a memorable experience, with excellent networking opportunities and relevant programme items and topics in an elegant and comfortable setting. I believe that our participants will enjoy the event, not least because of the renowned hospitality of the United Arab Emirates.”

To find out more about The World Recycling Convention and see the full agenda, please visit: https://www.bir.org/bir-abu-dhabi-2023/programme