When it comes to waste management, you’ve probably heard the mantra ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’.
In this guide – we have listed 6 of the easiest and effective ways to reduce your waste footprint (which will mean less waste going into your city’s waste streams, and potentially less waste pollution)
Summary – 6 Ways To Reduce Waste (For Individuals)
Reduce food waste
Reduce disposable and single use waste (plastic single use material in particular)
Reduce individually packed item waste (such as bottles, packets of food, etc.)
Reduce plastic waste
Sort and dispose of waste in the correct bins
Quit or reduce smoking (cigarette butts are a common waste item that is foudn littered)
1. Reduce Food Waste
A large amount of the waste found in landfills is food waste.
The obvious thing is that food waste is such an easy thing to prevent…
Know how much you (and your family if you have one) eats each week, shop once, and stick to it.
Cut down on impulse and take away purchases unless you really know you’ll eat it.
If you eat out in a restaurant or dine out – ask to take home whatever you don’t eat, and have it as leftovers the next day.
2. Reduce Disposable & Single Use Waste
We are talking about disposable and single use coffee cups (that have plastic liners in them), shopping bags, plates and cutlery, food containers and so on.
Start using reusable and washable items.
Bring your reusable bag shopping, buy reusable work food/lunch containers, buy a reusable coffee cup or drink bottle.
3. Reduce Single/Individually Packaged Waste
Single/individually packaged waste includes things like individually packed packets of noodles, individually packed soda cans, individual coffee sachets and so on.
Instead, buy and use bulk or single source foods, drinks and other products.
For example, use a coffee machine or a big tin instead of individually packets sachets, use a tap instead of individual disposable plastic water bottles, buy one big packet of noodles instead of 12 smaller ones.
Watching the amount of packaging is the key here.
If you need to, simply store any exposed food in an airtight container once it’s been opened.
4. Reduce Plastic Waste
We are singling out plastic because plastic packaging and plastic disposable items are among the most wasted and littered materials and items there are.
As a general rule, move away from single use plastics and plastic packaging, ideally to reusable materials (such as metal lunch containers), and buy foods that minimise plastic packaging or come fresh that you can put straight into a reusable bag or container.
5. Sort Your Waste Into The Right Bins
Of the waste we send to landfills, a significant amount of it is recyclable.
Not sorting waste into the right bins at the household level is a major reason for this.
Understand what waste can be recycled in your area, read the recycling symbols on the packaging, and make sure you are putting that waste in the right bin.
Give your council a quick call to check if you have to – it takes 5 minutes.
Also, place organic waste like food and plant scraps into your compost/organic matter bin if you have one.
Make sure that you able able to separate food waste from recyclable plastic – as contaminated plastic (contaminated with food waste) often can’t be recycled.
6. Quit Or Reduce Smoking
Cigarette butts are the most littered item on the planet – they are found everywhere from land, to rivers, to beaches, to in the ocean.
Although quitting smoking is obviously hard and everyone face different challenges in doing so – if you are able to do it, you are likely heavily reducing the litter footprint on earth.