Our top tips to reduce waste

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By South Holland District Council’s waste and recycling officers Samantha Gibbons and Laura Simpkins

Recycling is great, but not creating waste in the first place is even better. This week we will be thinking about reducing our waste.

There are lots of ways we can reduce waste in our homes. Remember that the choices that we make in shops affect the amount of waste we produce, with waste reduction starting when we are out shopping.

Here are some top tips to consider when you are out shopping:

n Think before you shop and only buy what you need. For example, planning ahead when making food purchases unnecessary food waste can be reduced.

n Buy products with less packaging and buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste.

n Use reusable bags, rather than packing shopping up into lots of plastic bags!

Specifically, food waste is a big problem within the UK. It is estimated that a fifth of all food and drink purchased is thrown away without being consumed! That’s enough waste to fill over five Wembley Stadiums.

Reducing your food waste is not only good for the environment, it also benefits our purses! There are massive savings to be made as it is estimated that an average UK family spends £60 a month on food and drink that ends up in a black bag and thrown away. The top three items that are thrown away are the daily essentials of bread, milk and potatoes with 24 million slices of bread wasted every day in the UK.

Those statistics are shocking so here are five easy tips to help you waste less food and save money:

n Check the use by dates. This might seem simple but it can save a lot of wasted food. Remember to use your freezer to your waste saving advantage!

n Plan your meals. There is a handy meal planner available online at the Love Food Hate Waste website.

n Make sure you store your food correctly to keep it fresh. For example, keeping apples in the fridge and potatoes in a cool, dark place.

n Use up leftover food rather than throwing it away. You could use your left over mashed potato to make fish cakes or left over roast meats in a pie!

n Recycle your food waste and make some nutrient rich compost to keep your garden looking great all year round!

A massive congratulations goes to nine more lucky Green Bag Lottery winners who bagged the £100 prize this month. For a full article about this round of winners please visit www.greenbaglottery.co.uk

More information about food waste and recipes to save wasting food can be found online at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com . Or catch up with Laura and Sam via email recycling@sholland.gov.uk or phone 01775761161. Remember, recycle after reading.