It’s hard not to be concerned about the impact of waste on our planet. Barely a day goes by without another news story about the plastic that’s killing marine life in our seas. And there’s the unsustainable quantities of household waste ending up in landfill - somewhere in the region of 50 million tonnes a year in the UK, that could have been recycled. 
As consumers it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of tackling big global waste issues. But we can all make a start with a few small changes aimed at cutting the amount of household waste we personally send to landfill every day. 
It all starts with the three Rs – adopt the mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle when buying, using or disposing of everyday items and you’ll start to see a big change. 
  •  You can start to reduce your personal waste footprint by being a careful shopper. This will probably save you money too. Avoid food waste by making a weekly shopping list and sticking to it. 
  • Love your leftovers – don't through them away, use them for tomorrow’s lunch or freeze them for later. Get advice from the website love food hate waste. 
  • Buy loose fruit and veg, rather than plastic packed and select products with minimal or recyclable packaging made from card. 
  • The plastic bag tax in England has made a big impact on the way we shop, so remember to take a reusable bag with you on every trip. 
  • Take a reusable water bottle to avoid buying drinks in plastic bottles, when you’re out and remember your reusable cup if you’re picking up a coffee. 
  • Make waste-free swaps around the house – using cloths instead of wipes to clean up, bars of soap instead of bottles of handwash, for example. 
  • Think about other purchases you make too. Could you reduce the amount of clothes you buy by giving old garments a new lease of life? 
  • Reduce waste paper coming into your home by going paperless for bills and bank statements and unsubscribing from unwanted mailing lists. 
  • As a nation we’ve become a throwaway culture, easily discarding items that could be mended and used again. Check out the Restart Project or Love your Clothes for advice and classes in mending clothes or repairing basic electronic items. 
  • If you do need to get rid of clothes or household items, make sure they go to a good home. Unworn clothes, with the labels still on, sell well on eBay or think about having a car boot sale. Send decent quality clothes, household goods and working electricals to a charity shop. Worn clothing can be recycled in textile banks. 
  • Make sure you use both sides of a piece of paper before recycling it –use the reverse side as scrap for notes or children’s drawings.  
  • Envelopes can be reused if you stick a label over the name, and cardboard, wrapping paper and bubble wrap can all be used again for packing.
  • Don’t throw out old ice cream tubs – they’re great for storing leftovers in your fridge or freezer – or take them shopping to save on plastic bags.
  • Jars and pots are also useful for storing DIY bits and bobs - and they make excellent small paint pots for when you don’t want to carry around a huge tub. 
  • Buying reusable batteries saves on hazardous waste too. 
  • If items can’t be reused or repaired, then see if they can be recycled. Check your council’s website for full details of its recycling collection service. 
  • Tins, metal lids, foil and cans, including aerosols, are all widely recycled. Plastic bottles are frequently recyclable too. 
  • Paper is easy to recycle, including cardboard, magazines, envelopes, brochures and catalogues 
  • If you have broken household appliances that can’t be fixed, take them along to your nearest household recycling centre. The various components can be broken down and reused. 
  • Sign up for your council’s food waste recycling service, if there is one, for all your peelings, tea bags and coffee grounds, bones and leftovers. If you don’t have a collection in your area, think about buying a compost bin, which does the same job.  
  • If you’re planning a clear-out this spring and plan to hire a skip, look for a company with the right environmental credentials and a clear commitment to reuse and recycling. 
Proskips is committed to halving the waste we send to landfill each year. If you need help disposing of your waste; from a building project, house move or decluttering exercise, contact us to discuss your requirements today.

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