Step it up
This year’s Recycle Week theme is ‘Step it up’, a nod to the need for more action against climate change. Now in its 18th year, Recycle Week is a UK-wide event that brings together brands, retailers, media and more to get us all thinking about waste.
Is recycling really worth the effort though? It saves 18 million tonnes of CO2
from being released into the atmosphere – the equivalent of taking 12 million cars off the road. Now, that’s worth stepping up for. Here’s how to help:
Be clear on plastics
Plastics are bad, right? Well, it’s not quite that simple. While plastic pollution is a crime against the planet, banning all plastics would create significant problems that could also spell disaster.
Until more eco-friendly alternatives are in place, some plastics have benefits that materials like glass, paper and aluminium can’t offer. They’re durable, lightweight and can be moulded. They also protect and prolong the shelf life of fresh foods.
War on waste
It’s a mind-boggling statistic but if food waste were a country, it would be the world’s 3rd biggest CO2 emitter behind China and the US. In the UK alone, households throw out millions of tonnes of unused food a year.
There’s plenty we can do to tackle this: plan weekly menus, shop with a prepared list, know about food dates and store extra portions and leftovers (a win-win as there’s less for landfill and more for those nights you don’t feel like cooking).
Care and repair
Recycling what’s broken or no longer useful is something we should all be doing, but there are steps beforehand that are important too. For a start, taking proper care of what we own (by reading those pesky instructions and care labels!) makes stuff last longer and saves us cash.
This year, the government introduced right to repair regulations, which means manufacturers of certain electronic goods must make spare parts available for repairs. Find out more about our commitment to repairability.
As for clothes, always check the label and consider an alternative to over-washing and ironing. For garments you love but no longer fit, find a good seamstress for alterations or a total revamp, or pass them on to a friend who will love them too.
Keep it simple
There are loads of ways to make recycling a doddle. Start by checking exactly what can or can’t be recycled on your local authority’s website; the list can change from time to time and there may be some surprises on there (foil – yes, greasy cardboard – no).
Finally, keep your recycling storage by your bin and recycle daily (rinse/ sort/ flatten) to stay on top of it. All great ways to help you step it up this Recycle Week.