How to recycle more and reduce waste
Hey Norbury community,
Recycling is one of the most effective ways to protect the environment and conserve natural resources. Today, we aim to delve into the active pro
cess of recycling. We will explore its environmental impact, and the steps individuals can take to contribute to a more sustainable future.
Recycling helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, create jobs and prevent pollution.
Recycling also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or incinerators, where it can harm wildlife, human health and the climate.
However, recycling rates in the UK are not as high as they could be. According to the latest provisional statistics from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), the UK recycled 44.4% of its waste from households in 2020, down from 46% in 2019.
This is far below the target of 64% by 2035 that the UK has committed to in its Resources & Waste Strategy.
So, what can we do to improve our recycling performance and reduce our waste?
- Check your local council's website for information on what items can be recycled and how to sort them correctly. Different councils may have different rules and systems for collecting recycling, so it is important to follow their guidance. You can also find out when your collection days are, how to report a missed bin collection, how to order new recycling bins or bags, and how to find your nearest recycling centre.
- Rinse and squash your plastic bottles, cans, cartons and foil before putting them in your recycling bin or bag. This helps save space, reduce contamination and make the recycling process easier.
- Flatten your cardboard boxes and paper before recycling them. This also helps save space and prevent them from getting wet or dirty. You can also remove any tape, staples or plastic wrapping from the cardboard, as these cannot be recycled.
- Compost your food waste at home or use a food waste bin if your council provides one. Food waste is one of the largest sources of methane emissions from landfills, which is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Composting your food waste can help reduce these emissions and produce a natural fertiliser for your garden or plants.
- Donate or sell your unwanted clothes, shoes, books, toys and other items that are still in good condition. You can also take them to a charity shop, a reuse centre or a recycling site. This way, you can prevent these items from going to waste and support a good cause or make some money.
- Avoid single-use plastics and disposable items as much as possible. These include plastic bags, bottles, cups, straws, cutlery, plates and packaging. These items are often not recyclable and end up in landfills or oceans, where they can harm wildlife and ecosystems. Instead, you can use reusable alternatives, such as cloth bags, water bottles, coffee mugs, metal straws, bamboo cutlery and dishes.
- Buy products that have less packaging or that use recycled or recyclable materials. You can also look for products that have recycling symbols on their labels, such as the Mobius loop (a triangle of arrows), which indicates that the product can be recycled. You can also check the On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) scheme, which provides clear information on how to recycle different types of packaging.
- Reduce your overall consumption and waste by buying only what you need and using what you have. You can also plan your meals ahead, make a shopping list, store your food properly and use up leftovers to avoid food waste. You can also repair, reuse or repurpose items that are broken or no longer needed instead of throwing them away.
By following these tips and suggestions, you can help recycle more and reduce waste. Recycling is not only good for the environment but also for your wallet and our community.
Together, we can make a difference!
The Litter Free Norbury Team