Can we change our habits to become a zero-waste society?

   Chris Williams


We’ve got into some very bad habits as a society. We consume more than we need to, we demand more new products than we require, and we throw away too much without thinking about the consequences.

Sounds pretty harsh, doesn’t it? That’s because we need to seriously – and quickly – reassess the way we behave, and the way we act. Without action, we will continue to plunder the planet’s critical resources, damage its living ecosystems, and do irreversible harm to the world and ourselves.

Changing our harmful habits

While tackling climate change needs the weight and commitment of governments and corporations around the world, there’s nothing more powerful than people. When we make better choices and decisions, we contribute to a positive attitude, we bring others with us and we can make a difference.

Our harmful habits have already damaged the planet, so it makes sense that small changes to the way we consume products and manage waste can contribute to bringing us back from the brink of disaster.

According to, a dedicated environmental news website and resource, there are several habits we could change without too much trouble, each of which can reduce our individual impact on the climate emergency. As a waste and recycling management specialist, we’ve chosen the habits that are most relevant to our work and focus.

Avoid food waste

Even in the UK, where many local authorities operate a food waste collection scheme, a huge amount of food waste ends up in landfill. As it breaks down, it emits greenhouse gases, adding to the pollution in our atmosphere. Buying more food than you need, or throwing unused food away costs you money and harms your environment. Instead, choose to buy better wherever you can afford to. Source your food from local suppliers, think about ‘best before’ dates wisely, and if you’re able to, compost appropriate food waste to reuse it and avoid it going to landfill.

Think about plastic differently

Many of us are used to taking our own bags to the supermarket now, to avoid the bag charge. This bag reuse makes a significant difference to plastic waste and the harm that throw-away plastics can do to the environment. But why not go further? estimates that 90% of global plastic still ends up in landfill or in our water systems. Try refill stores to reduce plastic packaging; take your own coffee up rather than using non-recyclable disposable cups from the coffee shop. Buy fruit and veg loose rather than using supermarket plastic bags. Avoid single use plastic where you can – it’s possible, and it’s much better all-round.

Hold onto your electronics

We’ve got into the habit of having to have the ‘latest’ version of technology, even if the devices we are using are perfectly fine for our needs. From phones to white goods, there are a lot of wasted metals, batteries and electronic components that could easily be reused in other products. Do you really need to upgrade? And if you do, can you resell or otherwise reuse your current technology so it doesn’t go to waste? And when you’re buying something new, why not check out the manufacturer’s approach to disposal and reuse at the end of the product’s life – when consumers start choosing their technology based on the manufacturer’s environmental credentials, things will improve in the wider market.

We need to dramatically change the way we think about and manage waste, aiming for zero waste to do our bit to reach zero emissions. And it’s easier than you think to do your bit towards a zero-waste society. Why not set yourself, your family, or your business a zero-waste challenge to help you get started?

To find out more, contact our team today or visit our showcase below.

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