300,000 tonnes of clothing alone was sent to UK landfills in 2016. As landfill waste decomposes, it produces the harmful gases CO2 and Methane. And even the process of recycling releases these damaging gases. So how do can you reduce your waste in the first place? Here’s 4 ways:
Let’s take disposable hot drinks cups for example. 2.5 billion paper drinks cups are binned in the UK each year, but shockingly even when you think you’re recycling your cup, only 1 in 400 cups is recycled as it is problematic to separate their plastic coating and cardboard to recycle the paper. Ensuring you carry around a re-usable coffee cup will eliminate your contribution entirely, with many chains now even offering discounts when you bring in your own cup. The same goes for water bottles. And plenty of other disposable items.
Shop smart by purchasing long-lasting products
Let’s take socks for example, you could buy a cheap pair of socks but they’ll soon degrade and get holes in and you’ll have to replace them in a few months, and this can turn into an endless cycle of money down the drain and a heap of waste. Or you could buy a pair of high quality, durable socks, which will last you years and years, saving time, money, and wastage. Buying cheap is a false economy.
Avoid packaged groceries
Buying packaged groceries could result in dozens of wasted plastic wrappers being thrown away each week. Try and find a supermarket that has all their fresh food items loose for you to pick yourself.
Repair, re-use, and then recycle
Whether it’s clothes or appliances, taking the time to repair items will be beneficial for both your wallet and the environment. Can the hole in those jeans be patched up? If the toaster brakes, check the fuse and wiring before recycling it.
When items come to the end of their life, such as clothing, think about how else they can be used or repurposed. For example, socks can make great dusters or mug cozies. And when you can’t get any more use of our your stuff, be sure to recycle properly. You can find out more about how to recycle properly in the UK on www.recyclenow.com, ran by the WRAP charity.