'Zero Waste' plan

It is Zero Waste Week and people across the UK are being challenged to reduce the amount of food they throw away, to help save money, protect the environment, and preserve resources.

This year Buckinghamshire Council is marking it by launching its own local zero waste map to help local people reduce their waste. The map shows all the shops, recycling points and businesses in Buckinghamshire that can help people reduce their waste.

Whether it is a nappy library, zero waste refill shop, furniture repairs or just somewhere to recycle a carrier bag, the map shows it all.

There are already more than 100 locations that offer products or services that are perfect for Zero Waste Week. The map also has more than 75 locations where people can drop off hard to recycle items, such as crisp packets, carrier bags or even toothbrushes – and the council is asking people to update it with all the recycling and reuse opportunities in their own local community.

Bill Chapple OBE, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment & Climate Change (pictured above), said: ‘There are some really simple steps that can prevent food from being wasted, meaning we all have the opportunity to make a positive change every day.

‘Working together, we can have a huge impact. For example – it we stopped wasting bread for a whole year in the UK, it would save the same amount of CO2 as is generated by over 500,000 return flights from London to New York.

‘We are already really good recyclers in Buckinghamshire, and together with Greatmoor energy from waste plant, this means that we send less than 0.1% of our waste to landfill.

‘But we have to aspire to zero waste. We’d love everyone to have a look at our zero waste map and see what’s available near them to help them reduce waste. We’d also like people to add to the map themselves, with any amenities, shops or projects in their own local community.’

Rachelle Strauss, founder of Zero Waste Week, said: ‘It’s clear that the Great British public has a growing concern about the effects of food waste and my aim is to illustrate how a Zero Waste lifestyle is one of the easiest ways to tackle this issue within your home and business.’

The Buckinghamshire Zero Waste Map is on the Recycle for Buckinghamshire webpage.

Ten ideas for reducing food waste that anyone can try:

  1. Only buy food you need – check cupboards and fridge before shopping
  2. Search for recipes that help you use up leftovers
  3. Create an ‘eat me first’ shelf in your fridge
  4. Set up and use a compost heap for unavoidable food waste
  5. Learn about portion control – how much do you need to make a meal?
  6. Teach yourself about the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates
  7. Research foods that can be frozen and use your freezer to extend the life of food
  8. Serve from dishes rather than plating up, so uneaten food can be used the next day
  9. Learn how to store foods properly – keep potatoes out of the light, bananas away from other produce and weevils out of your flour
  10. Sign up to a food sharing app.

Check your cupboard and fridge first to avoid buying food you do not need.

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