Why we must keep recycling

bristol waste recycling truck unloading plastics at the transfer station

Recycling your waste is an important part of tackling climate change

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, sparked debate this week (25 October) after commenting that ‘recycling is not the answer’ while taking questions from children ahead of COP26. So should we still be bothering? Yes is the answer.

We all have a duty to do what we can to tackle climate change and be more sustainable. Small, individual steps can collectively make a huge difference.

Recycling the waste you generate is an easy action we can all take. If we all reduced our food waste by the equivalent of 4 slices of bread a week, Bristol alone would reduce waste by 500 tonnes a year – that’s heavier than a full jumbo jet! While it may not feel like much standing in your kitchen, when you look at the city as a whole, our actions can add up to big changes.

When it comes to plastic, it is far better to recycle a plastic bottle than throw it away. Giving things a second life helps reduce demand on valuable resources. In Bristol, we ensure all our plastic recycling is reprocessed in the UK to reduce our carbon footprint.

Protecting the environment and our future

Recycling plastic doesn’t just help tackle climate change, it also helps keep waste out of our rivers and hedges, conserves energy from generating virgin materials and helps save precious resources. It all adds up to create a bountiful, resource-rich future for our children and future generations.

Reducing your waste overall is crucial 

But recycling is just one of the actions we can take. So before we choose recyclable items, we should take a moment to think about avoiding waste altogether. Choosing a reusable bag, taking a refillable bottle out with you, or buying fruit and veg not wrapped in plastic are small, simple steps we can all achieve.

At Bristol Waste, we recently challenged 100 households to go zero waste in 12 months. With simple changes, these families produced an impressive 77% less waste than the average Bristol home.

We are already the leading core city for recycling in England, but we can all learn from these families, and together we can ensure Bristol continues to waste nothing.


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