21st – 27th of September
This year, the theme will thank the nation for continuing to recycle despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented, under the banner ‘Together – We Recycle’.
The organisers, WRAP want Recycle Week 2020 to recognise the sacrifices that key workers and citizens have made to keep recycling going and create positive change in the world around us. Our recycling and waste key workers have heroically carried on collecting while the world slowed down around them.
Craig Stephens, Recycle Now campaign manager, said: “People are recycling more than ever, and our nation’s commitment to recycling has continued even during the most challenging of years”. Some local authorities are already claiming increases in tonnages during lockdown – with our increased reliance on online deliveries generating an increase in cardboard, for example.
WRAP said that last year’s event reached 16 million people on digital channels and 91% of people who saw the campaign said they recycled more than in the previous year.
Can we top this in 2020!?
What can we do to continue to make a difference and even cut down waste all together?
Here, I will share with you the key to less waste! My top tips and hacks to reduce, reuse and recycle.
The 3 R’s are usually mentioned when we talk about how to be more environmentally friendly, how to be greener, how to be ecologically sound and how to live sustainably.
These are three factors you can apply to anything to minimise a harmful impact on the environment. So, let’s start with reduce.
To REDUCE we will need to stop impulse buying and think, here are a list of questions you can ask yourself to be a more conscious shopper –
Do you need this?
This will give you a very good idea as to whether you should be buying the item, sometimes we buy things we do not need, but want, for fashion trends, status, a quick fix and sometimes just to spend money!
Could you borrow this item from a friend or family member?
A lot of the time someone close to you will have just what you need! Do not be embarrassed to ask around! You can very easily reduce waste, save money, and get what you need by borrowing it. Remember to share what you have that may be valuable to others.
Is this item sold in recyclable packaging or with little waste?
These days we are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping, so when you are at the shops or buying online you could reduce waste by going for the option with recycled packaging or very little waste. By doing this you are supporting the brand that is showing you they are environmentally aware. I know that is a brand I would like to support!
Will this item last you a long time or will you need to buy it again in a couple of months?
How many times have you brought an item of clothing and just worn it once? While the figures are debated, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated the fashion industry produces 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year, while it is estimated to use around 1.5 trillion litres of water annually. Meanwhile concerns have been rising about pollution, from chemical waste to microplasics.
The problems: fast fashion – such as the £1 bikini sold by Missguided last year, if I was to sit and list all the damaging fast fashion trends like this one I would be here all day; I’m sure you don’t need me to.
What is fast fashion?
Inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.
You can invest in items that are made with organic sustainable materials that will last you, be kind to your skin and support the slow fashion brands.
What is Slow fashion?
It advocates for manufacturing in respect to people, environment and animals. As such, contrary to industrial fashion practices, slow fashion involves local artisans and the use of eco-friendly materials, with the goal of preserving crafts and the environment and, ultimately, provide value to both consumers and producers.
Does this item bring you joy?
Because your happiness matters!
By making a choice with the environment in mind you will be turning down the demand for the products that are damaging our planet and instead you will be supporting the wonderful ethical businesses that truly care!
How can you REUSE to live a zero-waste lifestyle?
By reusing you will reduce the amount of waste that will go to landfill and stop need of the production process for new items. I find reusing the most satisfying of them all as you can get creative, share new ideas and know this ‘rubbish’ has a purpose if you put your mind to it.
The big one! RECYCLE – If you have no other use or home for it, recycle it.
Overall my advice is, be conscious when making decisions and remember that your change will have a ripple effect on a huge movement and we in this together!
I would love to see how you choose to get involved, lets connect on Social Media, with #RecycleWeek and tag us @mettalifeuk to make sure I don’t miss it! Let’s continue our efforts to make our planet beautiful!
Annie, Co-Founder of MettaLife x