Zero Waste Week: How to Reduce Waste

September 5th – 9th is Zero Waste Week. This movement was founded in 2008 to get people involved with reducing waste, save money, and preserve resources and it doesn’t take a massive effort to make a significant difference. Minor changes can lead to more sustainable living and we’re here to tell you about the little ways you can take part during zero waste week and beyond!

reducing waste plastic


Sadly, many of the food items you buy nowadays is wrapped in some form of packaging. You can’t always choose to not buy produce with no or little packaging but choosing loose items over packaged when you can, will make a big difference. The UK produces more than 170 tonnes of waste every year of which a large bulk is food packaging, so it is a good step towards change to be more conscious of reducing that number. You can choose to buy loose items especially when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Single Use Items

Avoiding the use of single-use items can drastically reduce the amount of plastic we are throwing away as well as save you a few pennies. Taking a reusable shopping bag out with you when doing your weekly shop can really especially, if you add up the number of bags you throw away otherwise. When you toss these, they all go to landfill, and many are not biodegradable.  As well as items such as plastic cutlery, straws, and cups to name a few. That’s a lot of small bits of plastic that you could be swapping out for a better, multiple use, alternative.

Your Daily Cuppa

Did you know teabags have plastic in them? As many as 96% of UK teabags sold are sealed with polypropylene which is a non-biodegradable nano-plastic. Heat resistant, polypropylene can even make up as much as 25% of the teabag but it doesn’t stop at just tea. With the rise in one time use coffee pods, more plastic capsules are being thrown out daily than ever before. So, what’s the solution? Well, you can use loose leaf tea and coffee grounds in reusable cafetieres and strainers. In doing so you still have the benefit of being able to brew to your preferred strength whilst massively reducing waste levels with every cuppa.

Food, Glorious Food

It might seem like common sense to say but controlling how much food you buy to ensure you don’t overbuy is an important contributor to reducing waste.  One of the ways we can do this is to take time to do a meal plan for the week to ensure everything bought will be used in the making of a meal. The average household in the UK throws away £470 of food each year which only emphasises the effort we need to make to ensure we are not binning produce unnecessarily. You can even have fun with it, make a bits and pieces dinner or get inventive with leftovers that need to be used. Don’t forget to store leftovers safely to be reheated or even freeze meals for another time.

Inevitably, sometimes there will be a little food wastage so what do we do then? If you have a garden, why not compost the waste you do have? Food wastage going to landfills can’t decay properly and therefore releases the greenhouse gas, methane, into the environment. It’s important to reduce these emissions and it makes sense to compost and recycle this material to grow something in the garden. If you don’t have a garden, contact your local council and see if the option to contribute your compost to the community gardens exists. That way you are doing your bit to help your neighbours too. Now that’s a lot of planet-saving, brownie points.

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