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How to reduce your plastic waste

26 September 2019

Plastic is one of the biggest dangers our natural world faces today. With many types still being non-recyclable and taking hundreds of years to break down, plastic seeps out into the environment contaminating soil, rivers and oceans, harming wildlife and ending up in our own food chain. However, we can stop this devastating pollution by making a few simple changes to our everyday lives. Read on for our recycling specialists’ 5 tips on how you can play your part in reducing your plastic waste. 

1) Stop using disposable coffee cups

In the UK alone 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year but of this number less than 1% are sent to be recycled. As disposable hot drinks cups take 50 years to degrade, they languish on landfill taking up valuable space for half a century. There is a simple and rather obvious solution to stop this needless waste and that’s using your own cup. Not only will this dramatically cut down landfill waste but many coffee shops even offer discounts for those who use their own cup. To really make a difference, choose one that’s made of eco-friendly materials instead of plastic.

2) Use loose leaf tea

Did you know many of our most popular tea bags are sealed with plastic? You will be forgiven for thinking that when you throw tea bags away they will biodegrade but what actually happens when they break down is the release of microplastics into our waterways and food chain. So, use loose tea with a strainer instead (you’ll often find they’re tastier too!). 

3) Use alternative cling films

More than 1.2 billion meters, or 745,000 miles, of cling film are used in the UK every year. While it can be recycled in selected specialist facilities, they are difficult and impractical to find. This means more often than not cling film ends up in landfill where it takes hundreds of years of degrade and has the potential to leak dangerous chemicals into the ground. Foil is a great alternative as most kerbside collections recycle it and beeswax wraps are a plastic free and fully compostable alternative that come in a range of fun patterns.

4) Choose wine sealed with cork

If you enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a long week, ensure you choose a bottle that has a natural cork stopper. While the glass bottle can be recycled, plastic stoppers and metal screw caps cannot, which is why opting for a traditional cork is the eco-friendly choice. Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment, but you also get to enjoy the satisfying ‘pop’ as the cork flies out of the bottle.  

5) Start a local recycling scheme

Local authority kerbside collections don’t always accept every plastic that can be recycled as some can be difficult to process or need specialist equipment. For these tricky plastic packages, arrange a local deposit site and arrange for it to be dropped off or collected by a specialist recycling firm such as W&S Recycling. The drop off location could be a special wheelie bin at the end of a generous resident’s drive, a local shop who has agreed to take in the waste or anywhere that encourages as many people as possible to participate.

W&S Recycling offers specialist recycling services to commercial, residential and industrial clients from around the country. We are 100% committed to helping our customers resolve their waste issues with tailored plastic recycling services to suit your needs. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 01202 675564

Branch Finder

Locate your nearest household waste centre and scrap yard using the list below. Unsure of where your waste needs to go? Contact our team and we'll be more than happy to help. For your local council charges visit the Oxford Council and Dorset For You websites.

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