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Tuesday 17 September 2019

Top 10 Tips this Recycle Week

It's been a while where I wrote a list with a few tips to help encourage sustainable behaviour, but with  Recycling Week around the corner it got me thinking about new ways in which we can all help create a more circular world for the future.

Recycling is something that the majority of us have done all our lives but now more than ever our we need to ensure that we waste less and recycle more. In the UK our current rate is 45.2% and although this has increased slightly from the 2016 of 42.8%, we are still unlikely to meet the 2020 target of 50% without serious effort from all residents across the country!

The power of recycling is probably more than you know, 1 recycled aerosol can save enough energy to power a shower for 8 minutes, a recycled banana skin can generate enough energy to charge your phone twice, and simply recycling a drinks can could save enough energy to charge your phone a huge 65 times. The power really is in our hands.

So what can we do this recycling week?

1. Get involved with your food waste. Lots of councils now offer discounted small food waste bins like Lambeth here which are super handy and you can then place outside to be emptied each week. For councils that do not yet offer a food waste collection service though, they will offer reduce priced composters which means you can create your own garden compost whilst saving waste. With food waste producing around 11% of the worlds CO2, by altering how you dispose of your waste you're not only recycling but also reducing emissions as well.

2. Go Naked. Lots of supermarket are looking to reduce plastic waste, from taking your own bags to collect loose fruit in, to only buying veg that is not coming in plastic, there are so many options to help reduce your waste in the first place. If you're committed to no plastic buying you could also sign up for a Riverford or Abel and Cole delivery box, bringing food straight to your door, no plastic involved.

3. Take your Tupperware out. So many of us nip out for lunch, but why not take your tupperware along with you. Ask the server to fill up your box instead of theirs and it may also generate the conversation around why reusing out containers is so important. The Long Live the LunchBox campaign also has a list of restaurants

4. Grab a bar not a bottle. Why not try something new and test of a shampoo, conditioner or body soap bar. Not only do they last longer than a normal bottle but they have no packaging meaning your waste is reduced with minimal effort. I would recommend going to lush to see what they have, the amount is fantastic!

5. Drop off your clothes. So many stores now have recycling drop of points for your old clothes, from H&M to John Lewis, and then of course your local charity shop, with there still being around 300,000 tonnes or £12.5 billion worth of clothes going to landfill each year we still have a huge opportunity to recycle our clothes more.

6. Refill. Refill stations are popping up around the country and there is good reason. All you have to do is take in your jars, weigh them before the products, add the products in and you will only pay for the amount you buy. By bulk buying the stores have massively been able to reduce the plastic consumption for all those involved whilst also helping to have jars and bags reused time after time!

7. Recycle your weird items. Ever wondered how to recycle toothpaste, your contact lenses, bread bags, crisp packets, confectionery wrappers, beauty products or pet food? The likelihood is you have but were not sure where to start and so it ended up in the black bin. Terracycle however have the answer. With local drop off points all over the county for these items and many more its a fantastic way to be sure your waste is actually recycled. So why not start a little bag under the sink for beauty /  toothpaste /contacts lenses, a bag where you feed your animals for pet food containers and another one in the kitchen for bread and crisps. Less waste, more recycling done easily.

8. Do the basics. I feel like we've now reached the time where we don't need to talk about coffee cups and water bottles but these steps are still so important. So this week why not try to ensure that everytime you grab a drink, its in a reusable cup/bottle, eliminating waste from the get go!

Hopefully some of these provide a little inspiration and alternatives to encourage you to recycle more, and create less waste. We really can all do our part, just like this years campaign says, recycling, it's in our hands!


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