Recycle Now has been running Recycle Awareness Week annually, with 2021 being its 18th year. The emphasis is on celebrating how many of us are recycling and ensuring we all continue to do so.

As the Zero-Waste Chef blogger Anne-Marie Bonneau said:

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

Here are some ways you can work on waste.

Plastic Packaging Waste

Plastic packaging is important to protect food wastage through the economic journey. However, it is also the largest contributor to worldwide plastic waste.

  • Use reusable beeswax food wrap instead of cling film.
  • Use reusable bags when shopping, even in the supermarket for collecting loose fruit and veg.
  • Buy in bulk or use hard soap and hard shampoos.

Reduce Food Waste

In the UK, a shocking three quarters of all food waste could have been eaten. Buying only what you need, when you need it is the best place to start with this. Cutting your food waste at home can save you in the region of £500 a year.

  • Store food correctly. Stored properly, food will last longer so that gives you more time to use it up.
  • Preserve food. This might mean pickling, fermenting, or simply using your freezer better.
  • Use your leftovers. Leftovers aren’t just for Christmas! Use a glass container to keep them stored in the fridge and visible so you remember to use them up in time.

Top Tip

Bread is our biggest food waste item so make breadcrumbs for pasta dishes or even indulge yourselves with homemade bread and butter pudding.

Clothing and Textiles

The fast fashion industry has shaped society into a linear one where we ‘make, use, dispose’.

Millions of pounds worth of clothing (140 million to be precise) ends up in UK landfill every year. It is thought that four out of five people have unworn clothes at home that simply need altering to fit.

  • Learn how to alter/repair your clothes so you can make the most of them.
  • Arrange clothes swap parties with friends to give your wardrobe a new lease of life and declutter.
  • Use charity shops to give away items you no longer want and to purchase new-to-you pieces.

What are your favourite ways to recycle, reuse, and reduce?

Thanks for reading and happy Recycle Awareness Week!

Barry & Laura