Over the last year, we’ve seen a shift in the news to a focus on waste, and rightly so. Our overconsumption of resources and throwaway culture has led us into a crisis – one that’s made of coffee cups, plastic bags and straws!
Plastic is a worsening environmental problem due to the material’s inability to decompose and its ever increasing presence in marine ecosystems. It’s poisoning our oceans, food and water supplies, and causing devastating impacts on wildlife as well as human wellbeing. We’re sure you’ve heard some shocking facts about plastic pollution, but did you know that nearly two million single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every minute?
To raise awareness and encourage householders to minimise their waste, we saw last week’s international online campaign Zero Waste Week take off. With a global reach of 56 million, the annual grassroots campaign encouraged the public to sign up and make a pledge to waste less.
Over 80 local authorities got involved and as part of our waste minimisation and recycling reward schemes, we too encouraged residents to participate in the campaign’s zero waste mission. Our members earn Green Points for reducing the amount they throw away and increasing their recycling, as well as participating in waste-related activities. Our reward schemes are also a great way to support council-led initiatives, like Hackney Council’s own Zero Waste Challenge.
We hope you got involved and promoted the zero waste message – but don’t worry if you missed it – it’s never too late to make those positive waste reducing actions. One of the easiest things you can do to is to simply avoid single use items or to replace them with sustainable options such as paper straws, reusable coffee cups and reusable water bottles. Shopping in supermarkets makes it pretty much impossible to be waste free, when every single product (even loose fruit and veg!) is wrapped in plastic. To avoid food packaging altogether, as well as supporting local businesses, why not try buying your groceries at one of the UK’s best zero waste stores?
And keep your eyes peeled for Carlsberg’s new ‘Snap Pack’ design where the cans are simply glued together – no more turtles stuck in plastic rings please! We all know we are throwing away far too much, it’s time to do something about it! If you would like to hear more about how our Local Green Points reward schemes encourage waste minimisation, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org