This week is WASTE LESS, LIVE MORE week created by Keep Britain Tidy. This approach brings together organisations and communities to take part in activities that are good for people as well as the environment. Head to www.wastelesslivemore.com to download your own challenge pack, with 51 ways to Waste Less and Live More.

At ACE we aim to promote the waste hierarchy (see below), with a focus on reducing, re-using and recycling.

waste-hierarchy

Why not take one of the following challenges and see if you can follow the waste hierarchy. Not only will you waste less, but you could also save money! Benefiting yourself and the environment.

 

Try Upcycling

Upcycling is a form of creative re-use and is the process of turning something old or unused into something new and usable. For example, you could turn an old cork board into a jewellery organiser or use old books as shelves! This is a great way to re-use items and a fun way to get the whole family involved.

Ditch Disposables

Try and go the whole day or week without using disposables. Why not switch to reusable coffee cups when out and about. Or try and ‘Live with Less Plastic’ by ditching the plastic bag or swapping plastic bottles for re-usable stainless steel ones. See our website for more details about our Live with Less Plastic campaign.

Go Zero Waste

Why not try and produce no waste for a whole day?! Make a packed lunch using leftovers and avoid buying anything in packaging that cannot be recycled! Try to follow the waste hierarchy: reduce, re-use then recycle.

Go Paperless

See if you can go paperless for an entire day, or if you do need to use paper make sure to print doubled sided or re-use scraps for note taking. As a last resort recycle any paper you do need to use.

 

Hashtag #WLLM15 on twitter to spread the word about what challenges you are trying out this week or why not tweet ACE to let us know or ask for some advice on how to waste less!

 

Plastics are  versatile, hardwearing materials which have benefited humans through its application in medicine, electronics or transport. Most plastics, however, are used for packaging and discarded after a single use. Due to their durability and disposable usage, the detrimental effect of plastics and plastic carrier bags in particular on the environment is immense.

Even when plastic bags are disposed of properly, the wind blows them from landfills into the ocean. All the plastics that slip into the sea are carried by currents, and pile up where the various currents converge. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the most well known of the floating rubbish gyres; it is five times the size of the UK. However, there are actually five of them across the globe (see picture below).

The campaigners from Greener Upon Thames bring the problem of plastics to the point: “Plastic bags do not biodegrade, they photodegrade – breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits, contaminating soil, waterways, oceans and entering the food chain when ingested by animals. In the marine environment plastic bag litter is lethal, causing severe pain and distress, and killing at least 100,000 birds, whales, seals and turtles every year.”

Reducing the consumption of plastics and plastic carrier bags therefore is crucial and you can start making a difference today:

– Talk to businesses
When you visit shops, ask them whether they use biodegradable packaging and why not if they don’t.

– Use a re-useable cotton bag
Reduce your reliance upon plastic bags.

– Make your party green
Parties, weddings, all kinds of social functions generate waste. ACE has teamed up with London Bio Packaging (proud supplier of sustainable packaging to the London 2012 Olympic Games) to promote food packaging made from palm leaf, sugar bagasse and plant starch. Check our websiteace.org.uk/shop.html for details.