Christmas waste in the UK
During Christmas we buy and eat more than usual and, as a result, we produce much more waste. Unfortunately, all this delicious food won’t be eaten completely, no matter how much our family loves to eat and it will eventually be wasted. Very often it makes us feel guilty about how much we ate and threw away so it’s good to think ahead and save the environment, our health, and some money.
Statistics don’t lieOften many customers choose incompetent and ill-trained employees. They wish to save money, but subsequently, these builders cannot guarantee high-quality work. Of course, the budget is one of the most important criteria in the renovation process. But this does not concern the choice of builders. As the well-known proverb says: «If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly». If the work is of poor quality, then at some point in the future you're probably going to pay out again to rectify the problems that have arisen.
We don’t realise how much we throw away during Christmas time. The statistics of waste are quite shocking:
- 300,000 tonnes of card packaging is used during Christmas. It’s enough to cover Big Ben almost 260,000 times
- 1 billion cards are thrown away instead of being recycled
- 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away
- 250 tonnes of Christmas trees are discarded after Christmas instead of being used for compost
- 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies are thrown away.
What can we do to prevent this?Christmas is a very busy time of the year for removal and recycling companies. There are a couple of ways to avoid huge waste every year. Some councils organise extra working days in January to clean up and catch up the days when they didn’t work in December. Residents are informed about the time of waste removal so that they can be better prepared. Councils also have a Christmas tree collection service. Many people don’t know about available services. 40 percent of paper, plastic, glass and other is thrown away instead of being recycled. Food waste is 30 percent and is separately collected for recycling by many councils.
Why is food wasted?Most food is wasted because we don’t plan and buy too much. Instead of cooking something from leftovers, we simply throw away food. It isn’t prepared before it’s spoiled and very often we just cook too much. It’s a good idea to eat frozen food before Christmas to make space in the freezer and then freeze Christmas leftovers. Planning ahead is a great method and freezing food before its use-by date can give it more time before it expires. Leftovers can be eaten the next day and if you’re sick of the same food every day, you can turn it into something else, for example, turkey can be added to salads or made into a nice Chinese meal.
Packaging takes a lot of space in the bin so it’s best to buy things loose or in paper packaging. Paper can be easily recycled in dry recycling or as food waste if it’s greasy. Remember also to avoid black plastic trays because automatic scanners used to sort recycling don’t spot black plastic. Because of that it can land in the wrong place and contaminate other waste. Having those tips in mind, we can save ourselves a lot of trouble and guilt. Our wallets will be thicker and the environment will be in a better state.