Zero waste week is here to raise awareness of how much waste we all use in our day to day lives. The UK produced 229 million tonnes of waste in 2016 and this is only growing year on year. Each household produces around a tonne of waste per year. The UK recycled 45% of waste in 2017 and aims for 50% by 2020. Even at these rates the UK produces a huge amount of waste that will end up un-recycled and heading straight for landfill.
The problem is that Landfill space is at a premium and is running out at an alarming rate. Estimates say that we have around 5 years of landfill space, creating a looming waste crisis in the UK. So reducing the amount of waste we produce becomes critical if we are to avoid the waste crisis.
Zero waste is a best case scenario and realistically we are all going to produce a certain amount of waste each year. The following tips can help you and your family become a zero waste household.
REDUCE – Reducing the amount of single use plastics and products you use will cut out a lot of waste. Supermarkets are trialling plastic free isles with fruit and veg being sold in paper or card alternatives. If you can take a lunch box instead of buying food this can drastically reduce the amount of waste produced each year. If we keep buying it then the supermarkets will keep selling it. It needs a generational shift to change our habits.
REUSE – We live in a throwaway culture because its often cheaper to buy new than to repair or reuse certain items. This can be as small a change as a bag for life. This will not only help the environment but save you 10p each time you visit the supermarket. Taking reusable containers for food and drink can also save on single use plastic. Metal or bamboo straws being adopted by many restaurants are a good example.
RECYCLING – If you think of the waste you produce each day, much of this can be recycled. In the UK we are slowly understanding the importance of recycling and we are currently at around 47%, however much more can be done to boost this number. Top tips are knowing what you can and can’t recycle. 50% of couples disagree on what can and can’t go in your recycling. Each council has different rules so check on your local councils website or give them a call.
This week please just think about your waste in a different way and take a look at how much single use packaging, paer, card and anything you throw in the bin. Then times that by the 70 million people living in the UK. if we can all make small changes to our attitude to waste then we can make a huge difference to our planet. It’s the only one we have after all.
LKM Recycling are a total waste management company looking to raise awareness of waste management practices. If your looking to improve your waste management for your business then you can get in touch with us today.