Waste Free February; plastic, plastic and more plastics. The usual suspect… We’re almost half way through our Waste Free February challenge and although it’s definitely lived up to its name, we’re all coming into the office each day moaning about the same unrecyclable and almost unavoidable packaging; plastic! We’re talking about the crunchier wraps/bags that seem to package most of the fruit and vegetables in our supermarkets, including salad bags! This form of polyethylene tends to be mixed with polymer barriers and additives which make them near impossible to recycle – we’re still trying to find a recycling scheme that can! Avoiding these has definitely been our biggest challenge; they’re hidden in everything, even your cardboard box of dry pasta, to my box of herbal teabags with a plastic/foil mixed bag. So what do you do if you find yourself stuck between buying vegetables/fruit in crinkly plastic packaging or a more solid plastic clam-shell container? Well strangely enough, the clam-shell container is a better option! These containers are made from PET1 plastic meaning you could take them to a HRC in Wiltshire to be recycled; they’re just not collected in our black boxes or blue-lidded bins just yet. If you find yourself a bit confused with all this talk of plastic, head over to WRAP to see the list of plastic types and check out the list of items that can be taken to your local HRC in Wiltshire for recycling. So many recycling symbols! You’ve probably began to notice the number of different recycling symbols on the back of packaging? Just because an item has a recycling symbol on it, doesn’t actually mean it’s recyclable! In some cases, the label may suggest it is recyclable but in your local area, it may not be! So to ease confusion, here are the full list of symbols and an online Local Recycling Map to see what you can recycle in your area. The easy triumphs! Finding recyclable alternatives has been quite simple in most cases, choosing sauces in glass jars over laminated pouches, cat food in aluminium cans rather than laminated paper bags or choosing bread in a stretchy plastic bag rather than a crinkly one so it can be recycled in the supermarket car park bag bins! Yes, we are winning the battle against some of our waste! Another easy change was starting to compost my food waste! It’s surprising how much food waste is produced from teabags to vegetable peelings and apple cores, so I have been pleased to see how easy it really is to compost these items. I’ve been using a Green Johanna from Great Green Systems which has been taking all of my food waste, even any leftover scrapings from the plate or pan! How are you finding Waste Free February? We want to know which items or materials you’re finding difficult to avoid. Or maybe you’ve found a way to reduce your plastic packaging? If you haven’t started the challenge yet, there’s still time! We’d love you to join us and take on the challenge or simply share your helpful reduce, reuse or recycling tips for #WasteFreeFeb – get in touch using #WasteFreeFeb on: Facebook/WiltsWasteWatch Twitter - @SlimBinsWilts Need some help to get started? We’ve also popped together a simple guide for going ‘waste-free’ filled with quick and easy tips – just email us at [email protected] for a copy. You’re almost half way through #WasteFreeFeb! No point in stopping now! Chelsie, Gemma and Jess - the Waste Team.