The Government has announced that English shoppers will soon be paying a deposit on drinks bottles and cans, as part of a push to fight the plastic waste problem.
But here’s some even better news: you don’t have to wait until this system is put into place to make a difference. Here’s a round-up of some relatively easy things you can do today to reduce your plastic footprint today.
Get savvy on what items can and cannot be recycled
It was recently found that us Brits have a worryingly low knowledge of recyclable items, leading to items such as soap pump dispenser tops, coffee cups and even plastic bags being thrown incorrectly in the recycling. Recycling the right stuff will make a huge difference, familiarise yourself here.
In particular, it’s good to check out what plastics your local recycling facility recycles. It may surprise you, but a large amount of everyday plastic items are recyclable, including drinks bottles, shampoo bottles and detergent containers. Lids of these items can also be recycled.
However, facilities differ from council to council, so best thing to do is check what your area offers.
Use glass containers when you can over plastic
According to Recycle Now, the UK only recycles 50% of its glass bottles and jars, even though they are really easy to recycle. So, whether you need to buy a drink while you’re out and about or are shopping for drinks in your local supermarket, opt for a glass bottle.
Always clean all packaging and bottles before you recycle them
To avoid contamination of an entire bag of recycled items, do make sure that everything is clean beforehand. Otherwise, you risk all of your eco-friendly efforts going to waste.
For instance, a recent survey found that 20% of Brits are recycling greasy pizza boxes, which are not recyclable.
Don’t worry about leaving labels on
This does not affect whether an item can be recycled. So there’s no need to mess around removing anything them beforehand.
Use a reusable bottle
A relatively small switch which makes a rather large difference. You could even treat yourself and buy one with a filter (like BRITA’s Fill&Go bottle for £14.99), so your drinks are both eco-friendly and top quality.
Take advantage of water fountains and refill points
While on the go, it’s really easy to grab a plastic bottle to quench your thirst with a liquid treat. Instead, seek out your nearest water fountain or refill points. The Refill campaign is making this much easier, with schemes around the UK encouraging shops and organisations to offer free water refill points.
You can find out more information on where to find your nearest Refill point here.