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22 December - Waste!

An alternative advent calendar

According to a study from 2016, London households produce 3.7 million tonnes of waste a year. That was 4 years ago and with increasing population and 'things' this number has no doubt increased.

I really do understand that shopping at supermarkets and getting deliveries results in a huge amount of packaging, but we can all do our bit and being more aware is a good step important.

The first thing to remember is that our first thought should always be 'do i need this?'

We should always think in that order. One of the main things to remember is whilst recycling is better over landfill, it still requires to be picked up, transported and processed, all utilising energy.

The issue with biodegradable

  • In addition, organisations are looking to things that are biodegradable.

  • These products break down much faster and can often contain materials that are less harmful to the environment (plastic is made from petrochemicals).

  • We should also remember that just because something degrades quicker, a bird can still die from consuming it or it being wrapped around it's head 'now'!

  • Biodegradable plastics are rarely recyclable or even compostable meaning they still go to landfill.

  • They won't solve the current plastic crisis

A lot of what we think is being recycled cannot be

  • It cannot be recycled if covered with food - pizza boxes is a good example of this

  • Bottle tops are unlikely to be recycled

  • Disposable coffee cups have a thin film of plastic on the inside so cannot be recycled (plus, they are often covered in liquid)

  • Wrapping paper cannot be recycled

  • If you put recyclables in plastic bags, the contents won't be recycled

Things you can do

  • Buy less

  • Be conscious of packaging and reduce where you can

  • Take a reusable cup with you - and don't let this be your next addiction, you only need 1 or 2

  • Take a reusable bottle of water with you

  • Use a cloth and a gentle cleaner such as bicarb rather than wet wipes (and never flush them down the drain)

  • Do not use bottled water (please!) - tap water has much stricter controls on filtering and don't require a plastic bottle

While the key is to reduce our waste, please remember that what we buy can immediately impact animals even if biodegradable/recyclable.

We do not know where our waste ends up and so it could get taken by foxes and scattered across the street, get shipped off somewhere and end up in other countries or end up in waterways. Therefore, please spend a few minutes helping our critters in small ways.

  • Cut ring ties

  • Crush tin cans

  • Tie plastic bags to make them smaller and prevent animals being caught up in them

Yes, this doesn't reduce waste, but it does reduce it negatively impacting wildlife.

Photos from the internet

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