The average person in the UK throws out their own body weight in rubbish every three months. Looking at it another way, according to research by WRAP the average family with children wastes £610 a year by throwing food away that could otherwise be used to feed the family.
The more you can do to throw away less will be a big help for the environment, contribute to reducing climate change and even save you money too.
This is how your waste is made up for an average household –
- 37% kitchen waste – most of this is can be used for compost in your garden. Of course not everyone has a garden so another way is to use up food that would otherwise be wasted. Love food hate waste is a website that provides recipes for using up food that might otherwise go into the bin. You can visit their website too see how you can revive stale bread, freeze sliced cake and find out many other tips by clicking on this link see their recipes and free advice.
- 23% paper and cardboard – this can all easily be reused or recycled.
- 9% plastics – plastics take hundreds of years to degrade and should be avoided wherever possible. Use cloth bags instead and buy items that aren’t over packaged.
- 8% glass – bottles and jars can be reused and recycled.
- 6% metals – such as steel and aluminum. These are easily recycled.
- 17% the rest – unwanted shoes, clothes, toys, and electrical goods can usually be repaired or be re-used via charity shops.
- Negligible – occasional items such as batteries which are highly toxic in landfill. Batteries can be dropped off in collection bins/points in most major supermarkets for recycling. Other items such as small broken electrical items i.e. remote controls, digi boxes, hair straighteners, can be put into recycling hops at many major supermarkets for dismantling and re-use.
For Business and Organisations
For businesses and organisations (including charities) all of the above will probably still apply but one big area to reduce waste is paper and cardboard. Paper products take a lot of environmental resources to produce them, including many litres of water.
As a business or organisation you may be interested in Climate Change North East’s website which gives a lot information about the strategic direction you should be taking. You can visit the Climate Change North east website by clicking here (opens in a new window).
Friends of the Earth have produced a helpful leaflet about reducing waste which you can download via this link.