Blog Waste Free Feb- Little Changes Little changes make a big difference… If every household recycled one more cooking sauce jar, it would save enough energy to power a primary school for 3 months! It’s true what they say that a little change can go along way and we’d love our #WasteFreeFeb challenge to lead to simple changes. So what are these small changes I hear you cry? Packaging Most of us are aware that plastic packaging is a big worry to the environment, of the 300 million tonnes of plastic produced yearly only 12% is recyclable. So ‘small change number one’ is to try and simply reduce our plastic usage. A good place to start is with your food shop, by choosing to buy food in boxes or loose rather than un-recyclable plastic packaging you will be ‘doing your bit’ for the environment! Why not take a tub to the deli counter and ask for cheese, fish, meats to be placed into your tub rather than wrapped in plastic. Choose stretchy plastic bagging or clear plastic containers which could be recycled at your HRC or in the plastic bag recycling bin often found in supermarket car parks, over crinkly plastic packaging which you can’t do anything apart from landfill. Buying fruit and veg from the market will enable you to avoid unnecessarily wrapped items; who needs bananas or avocado in packaging when they already have their own? Whilst you’re at the supermarket you can recycle different kinds of plastic bags, including shopping bags, sandwich bags, plastic bread bags, frozen vegetable bags; they can all be dropped off at your local supermarket plastic bag recycling point but check to see if they have the bin available. Many supermarkets also offer other recycling points which may include Brita water filters, used batteries, old clothing etc. Using your HRC People often forget that you are able to take much more to your local HRC for recycling that what is simply collected from your kerbside bins. Most items we’ve been able to recycle at home but for the majority of our leftover waste, it simply meant a trip to the HRC. Tetrapak cartons (often used for milk and juice), yoghurt pots, margarine/ice cream tubs, clear coloured meat trays and even garden waste can all be recycled at your HRC if you are willing and able to take them yourself. For a full list of what you can and cannot take to a HRC for recycling in Wiltshire, click here. Simply knowing what you can recycle at home Yes, knowing what can be recycled at home and what item should go into which bin or box can get a little confusing when you’re in a rush. So why not print off a sticker for your bins to make it easier to remember? Eating out Do you really need to use a napkin? How about taking your napkin home to be composted? Ask if the restaurant recycle their napkins, paper placemats? Chances are the majority throw it all straight into the rubbish bin! Saving the environment is often far from their mind if they have hungry customers waiting! Don’t forget to make a point of telling the waiter you haven't used it so it can be reused. Straws, do we really need a plastic one-use straw? According to One Green Planet “In the last 25 years, over 6 million straws and stirrers were removed from beaches during annual cleaning events.” And that is just straws that found been discovered, many make their way into the stomachs of marine animals. Do you still want to use a plastic straw? How about choosing an alternative such as a compostable, bamboo, paper, metal, glass or straw straws! Yes we have had odd looks of amusements during this challenge but have also had some interesting conversations which we like to think will have a butterfly effect. How have we done for #WasteFreeFeb? Keep an eye out for our next blog where we’ll be going through our waste jars from the month of February! We’d love you to hear how you’ve found the challenge and what changes you’re going to keep going forward! Get in touch using #WasteFreeFeb on: Facebook/WiltsWasteWatch Twitter - @SlimBinsWilts It’s never too later to start! We’ve popped together a simple guide for going ‘waste-free’ filled with quick and easy tips – just email us at [email protected] for a copy.