This week is Zero Waste Week, and Derby City Council has come up with 10 easy tips for residents to reduce waste.
From food packaging to old clothes, we are all guilty of throwing away what we don’t need. However, there is usually a way to give your used products new life before they go in the bin.
Rachelle Strauss, founder of Zero Waste Week, said:
In the UK, we throw away over 200 million tonnes of waste each year; it’s simply not sustainable.
Throwing something ‘away’ doesn’t really exist – ‘away’ is our landfills, oceans, and forests, and before long there’ll be nowhere else for our rubbish to go.
We don’t all need to be 100% zero-waste, but little changes can have a huge impact.
Here are our 10 top tips for reducing waste:
- Use reusable coffee cups and water bottles. Most major coffee retailers will give you a discount if you take your own cup, so you save money and the environment all in one go.
As for plastic bottles, 38.5 million are used every day in the UK alone. If we reuse ones we already have, we can prevent so many ending up in our oceans.
- Refuse plastic straws in bars and restaurants. Between the UK and USA, 550 million single-use plastic straws are thrown away every day. These don’t biodegrade, and they often end up being eaten by birds and fish.
- Look out for recyclable wrapping paper. Glitter and shiny finishes can make wrapping paper difficult to recycle.
- Use canvas bags for loose fruit and veg in supermarkets and greengrocers. Most fruit and veg has its own organic packaging; you don’t need an extra layer of plastic to protect it!
- Try composting at home. You can put so much of your food and paper waste in a composter, helping you reduce what goes in the black bin.
- Donate unwanted clothes to charities that reuse fabrics. If you have clothes that aren’t in good enough condition to be sold in a charity shop, let someone reuse the fabric. Plenty of charities will take your materials, and shops like H&M have a drop-off point.
- Find recipes for leftovers on the Love Food, Hate Waste website. Leftover food doesn’t have to rot in the fridge!
- Choose online receipts to reduce paper wastage. If you feel confident getting statements or receipts by email, this will slow down how many trees are cut down for paper.
- Make meal plans to ensure food is eaten on time. It’s easy to miss the use-by date on things in the fridge. Once you’ve done your big shop, plan out what you’re going to eat and when.
- Keep postal packaging to use again if you need to post something. Packaging is normally perfectly good for reuse when it arrives, so hang onto it for next time.
These are a good starting point for reducing the amount of waste you produce.
Councillor Afzal, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection, said:
Reducing waste is a key move towards stopping litter and fly-tipping. We need communities to come together and do their bit to help reduce how much waste we send to landfill and increase how much we recycle.
We’ve pledged to make Derby a cleaner, safer and friendlier city. If communities work together to reduce waste, that will mean less litter and rubbish on our streets.