Waste Less

We waste so much. Every day millions of things that could be reused or recycled end up being thrown away. 

This is why we are working on a Waste Less campaign, which we hope will inspire you to choose products with less packaging and to reuse and recycle more of your waste.

Waste Less plastic

Christmas recycling tips

  • Recycle your real Christmas tree – if it doesn’t fit in your green bin, chop it up and put in the pieces making sure you can close the lid. If you’ve not renewed your green bin subscription yet, you can save time and sign up online
  • Avoid shiny wrapping paper – consider using paper that doesn’t contain foil or glitter as we can't recycle paper that does
  • Donate any unwanted presents to charity shops
  • Recycle old electrical items at your nearest tip
  • Recycle plan paper Christmas cards. Any cards with glitter or foil should go in your black bin as we can’t recycle them
  • Reuse your food leftovers - find plenty of festive recipes for leftovers at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
  • Recycle your cardboard boxes – remember to flatten them so you can fit more into your blue bin. If you fill up your blue bin over Christmas, put extra recycling in clear, tied bags and place them next to your blue bin on collection day
  • Soiled paper plates, napkins and cups cannot be recycled – please put them in your black bin
  • Sweet tins, mince pie cases, and plastic bottles, tubs and trays can all be recycled in your blue bin

Here are some more of our top tips to help you waste less and recycle more:

  • Regardless of whether they are clean or used, nappies always go in your black bin. Never put nappies in your blue bin as they contaminate the rest of the recycling.
  • Keep your recycling box/bin next to your rubbish bin and talk to everyone in your home about what to recycle.
  • Flatten your boxes and squash plastic bottle, tubs and pots, drink and soup cartons, add newspapers, greetings cards, empty aerosol cans and clean aluminium foil. 
  • Is it aluminium? Scrunch foil together and if it scrunches up it’s aluminium and can go in your blue bin. If it springs back it’s plastic and should go in your black bin.
  • If bagging recycling, make sure you use a clear(ish) bag so our crew can check that all your waste can be recycled. Better still, just tip the recyclables out of the bag into your blue bin.
  • Before putting cardboard boxes in your blue bin, remove any tape and flatten them.
  • Batteries do not go in any of your bins. Take them to your local supermarket to recycle or to your nearest household recycling centre (tip).
  • You can’t recycle crisp packets, pet food pouches, polystyrene, sticky tape and small sections of plastic. Please put these in your black bin.
  • Please take all broken electronics to your local household recycling centre (tip) so they can be recycled.
  • Glass, tin cans and aluminium foil can be recycled endlessly while most plastics can only be recycled once.
  • Use refillable water bottles and coffee cups and remember to take them with you to use when you’re out and about.
  • When shopping look for unpackaged products, such as loose fruit and veg, and remember to reuse any fruit and veg bags.
  • Avoid disposable items - use low energy light bulbs and rechargeable batteries and switch to real nappies.
  • Buy a home composter and recycle your food waste and add garden waste to the mix. It’s cheaper and better for the environment. We’ve teamed up with getcomposting.com to offer great value home compost bins. 
  • Always remember to take shopping bags with you and reuse smaller plastic bags for your fruit and veg.
  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging but make sure you will be able to use the products before their use by date, so as not to waste any food.
  • Take any old clothes, shoes, DVDs, CDs, books and knickknacks to charity shops.
  • Consider having milk delivered to your door to reuse your milk bottles, if there is a local service running near year.
  • If you use squeezy bottles for things like tomato sauce, mayonnaise, sandwich spreads and condiments, consider changing to glass. They are generally cheaper to buy and it cuts the plastic used.
  • Buy your pet food in cans rather than pouches. Tin cans are easy to recycle and generally cost less than pouches, which can’t be recycled.
  • Use soap bars instead of soap dispensers or buy refills. You can also buy shampoo bars from some shops and make your own non-toxic cleaning sprays. Lots of tips online if you search for DIY cleaning products.
  • Ditch the straws – just drink from the glass.
  • Make your own non-toxic spray cleaner – 1/3 vinegar 2/3 water plus citrus peel and store in old spray bottle.
  • Rediscover your butchers, greengrocers and markets to buy products that use less packaging and support local supply chains.

What goes in which bin?

If you are unsure about what can and can't be recycled, see our what goes in each bin - it also explains how to order a second blue recycling bin for free.