Susie Burrage, managing director of Buckinghamshire, UK-based Recycled Products Ltd, was recognized in King Charles III’s inaugural New Year Honours List 2023. She was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her contributions to recycling and the environment.
“I am overwhelmed to have been awarded this honor and proud that it is for services to recycling, which is requisite to the future of our planet,” Burrage says. “I dedicate this accolade to my family, past and present, who have supported me and encouraged me especially my late father Tom, who brought me into this industry and encouraged me to take a seat at the boardroom table when it was predominantly men who were doing so.”
Burrage is a trailblazer in the recycled materials industry. In 2014 she was the first woman appointed to the British Metals Recycling Association’s (BMRA) board and became the association’s first female president in 2016. She has subsequently been reelected four times.
“I am very proud of all my achievements, especially the glass ceilings I have broken,” Burrage says. “Some of my proudest moments are when younger female colleagues from around the world have said I have inspired them.”
In addition to running her business and serving as BMRA’s president, she is President of the European Metal Trade and Recycling Branch of EuRIC, UK Ambassador for the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), Ambassador for the Global Recycling Foundation, and Patron of the Bureau of Middle East Recycling. Her role as a Patron of the Bureau of Middle East Recycling, the first woman to hold this position, helps to ensure the UK metal recycling industry continues its relationship with fellow recyclers in this region and beyond.
“I am the fourth generation of my family to own a metal recycling facility. I worked alongside my father before founding Recycled Products Ltd in 2001,” she says. “It is since taking on my voluntary roles in the UK, Europe, and beyond, that I have been able to get recycling’s positive messages out to a wider audience. I will continue with my endeavors to promote recycling until it gains the prominence it deserves as an essential ingredient in our transition to a circular economy.”
Through her roles at the BMRA, EuRIC, and BIR, Burrage is able to not only represent UK recyclers, but also European and international recyclers. She promotes the environmental benefits of recycling in the media and conferences worldwide and works with lobbyists and policymakers on issues that affect the industry globally. Through her work she helps decision-makers reach outcomes that benefit recyclers, which, in turn, helps ensure that more raw materials from recycling are available across the globe.
“We all, as custodians of planet earth, have a duty to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” Burrage says. “Everyday recyclers play their part in helping to reduce CO2 emissions…Be it metals, textiles, rubber, plastic, glass, or paper or a combination there is a recycler with a solution.”
Photos Courtesy of BMRA.