Reducing UK Waste

Put less rubbish in your twinned bin

We’re all in this together – because we have a waste problem in the UK too.

  • UK households produce 26.4 million tonnes of waste each year (DEFRA).
  • It’s estimated that we throw away almost 300 billion pieces of plastic each year – more than 4,000 pieces per person. Most of this isn’t recyclable (Everyday Plastic).
  • UK households waste 4.5m tonnes of food each year (The Guardian).

Think how you could reduce your waste footprint with small changes to your lifestyle and shopping habits. Here are some simple ideas to get you started:

On the move

  • Switch to using a reusable coffee cup.
  • Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at home or work. (The most long-lasting, easily recyclable types are made from stainless steel or glass.)

Back at base

  • Use soap and shampoo bars instead of liquid products in plastic bottles. Search online for how to make your own toothpaste, soap and deodorant.
  • Switch to reusable cloths and stop buying disposable wipes. (Choose organic cotton or bamboo as the supply chain is more ethical.)
  • Opt for cleaning products available in concentrated form which you dilute with water at home. Or make your own products.
  • Stop using clingfilm: buy or make your own reusable beeswax food wraps. (You’ll find plenty of inspiration online.)

When you shop

  • Take your own reusable shopping bags with you, making sure you wash them between uses..
  • Buy fruit and veg loose, from the supermarket, greengrocer or market, or in a veg box. If your supermarket doesn’t sell loose fruit and veg, ask them to.
  • Take your own reusable containers to the fish, meat, cheese and deli counters, rather than buying pre-packaged stuff.
  • Find out if there are bulk food stores locally – where you refill containers from dispensers containing basics such as flour, washing-up liquid etc.
  • Reduce your food waste and get creative in the kitchen with leftovers.

For more ideas and inspiration, visit