Reflections on Earth Day 2021

Reflections on Earth Day 2021

Earth Day started in 1970 in the USA with millions of supporters. Now on its 51st birthday it is an event marked by over 190 nations and over a billion people. Recycling Lives reflects on the much needed rise of environmental activism and how the company is playing its part in keeping our planet healthy.
Earth Day’s mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Established in the 1970s, by the US Senator Gaylord Nelson, it was in part inspired by a huge oil spill off the coast of California, the impact of the famous 1968 Earthrise NASA photograph, and the seminal environmental science book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson.

Today the event marks its 51st birthday and this year’s theme is Restore Our Earth™. The need for environmental action is greater than ever. Andrew Hodgson, Recycling Lives Chairman, reflects on this.

“Our planet is in a more precarious environmental situation than at any point in history. Global warming, species loss and plastics pollution are rightly hot topics. What Earth Day does is brilliantly raise awareness of these issues, but more importantly act as a focus for action and change. 

The situation is far from hopeless, we can reverse the years of pollution to our planet, and as this year’s theme suggests, restore our earth. It’ll be hard, but I’m optimistic through innovation and changes to our way of living and working we’ll achieve it.”

Recycling Lives as a company plays a bigger part than most in the mission to keep our planet healthy. It is one of the largest recyclers of end of life vehicles in the UK and responsibly handles waste for the construction industry, utilities, production sites and more. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) drives its operations with the “E” becoming increasingly important to complement the “S” of social which has always been core to the business and its charitable activity.

Andrew further comments: “I’m proud of what the Recycling Lives team achieves to drive the circular economy. For example, since last Earth Year, we estimate that we’ve salvaged enough steel from our end of life vehicles to build over 13 Eiffel Towers. That’s green steel that can be reused without the huge energy needs and mining activity associated with new metals.”

Gerry Marshall, Recycling Lives CEO, is further driving innovation, to reduce the environmental impact of the company and its customers.

Gerry comments: “Traditional recycling companies were all about reducing landfill and some recycling. This was an initial step on a journey but to really restore our earth we need to do much more. That means preventing waste in the first place by helping our customers reduce material consumption, help them reuse materials and having advanced recycling processes that recover as close to 100% of materials as possible.” 

Shown in green how Recycling Lives sees its responsibility as a leading player in the circular economy – a paradigm shift from traditional waste companies (blue)

Gerry continues: “For example we’re working on a circular economy solution for electric vehicles that will recover a much higher percentage of materials and those we can’t fully recover will be converted into energy and hydrogen gas - a green fuel. Any excess energy we don’t use for our operations can be exported to the grid, or stored on site using the electric vehicle batteries we’ve removed from the source vehicle. Once live we believe it’ll be the greenest car recycling process in operation.

That’s just one innovation we’re working on. We need to get really clever at minimising our customers environmental footprint as it’s Earth Day for us every day of the week - it’s really that important.”

This Earth Day we all can play a part in saving our planet. COVID-19 has shown us how a pause in human activity can make a big difference to the environment. Let’s springboard off of that progress. Continuing activism and pressure on companies and governments to care for our planet is vital. If you wish to get involved there are a wealth of resources at

Naturally Recycling Lives will be happy to assist companies in their reduce, reuse and recycling efforts. We’re trusted by big names like Wates, John Lewis, several of the UK’s police forces and many more. We’d be happy to help you too. Our environmental credentials with truly embedded social value make us unique in the industry. 

Give us a call for a free consultation on 01772 654321
or contact us via our webform here