Zero Waste Week 2020 – What’s in your lunchbox?

lunchbox with home made salad inside

Get involved with our zero waste lunch challenge

This week (7 – 13 September) is Zero Waste Week. An event that started with just 100 people has spread across the globe to become an international week of action. With participants getting involved in reducing, reusing and recycling.

Reducing waste and increasing recycling is something we at Bristol Waste are passionate about. Our aim as a company is to help Bristol waste nothing. We understand that zero waste sounds like a huge task and can be a bit overwhelming but with small actions we can all help to reduce the amount of waste Bristol produces.

So, we are asking you to think about lunch.

Go zero waste for lunch

We are challenging the people of Bristol to aim for a zero-waste lunch for Zero Waste Week 2020. What do you eat and how do you transport it? What conscious decisions can you make to try and reduce your waste from one meal a day?

Whether it’s taking a cheese and pickle sandwich in an old takeaway container or spending hours creating a beautiful, nutritious salad to go in your fairtrade bamboo lunchbox, we want to see your creations. Share your photos on social media and tag us in.

Hints and tips to get you started

To get you started we asked our Community Engagement team for some hints and tips on reducing your waste at lunchtime. They shared some quick wins and time-saving options to help you along your way this week.

The lunchbox

Think about what you already have in your house that you could use. A tupperware container or old takeaway container can be washed up and reused multiple times.

The drink

Cartons and pouches can be difficult to recycle. Try an empty squash bottle that can be reused multiple times and then recycled in your green box or even better invest in a reusable drinks bottle.

The sandwich

Package in a sealable container or wrap them in aluminium foil or reusable food wrap. Foil can be wiped off and used again, then recycled in your green recycling box. Cling film can’t be easily recycled and usually ends up in the bin! If you don’t want to use foil or food wrap why not reuse an old bread bag – you can rinse it and reuse it over and over.

Think about the filling, if cheese or ham is a favourite then why not take your own pot to the deli counter at your local supermarket and fill up with no additional plastic!

The fruit

A healthy and tasty addition to a school lunch box. Bagged fruit is unrecyclable so why not decant a few grapes and slice your own apple, then pop into a small tupperware. The core or peel can then be recycled in the school or home compost, wormery or brown food waste caddie bin.

The yogurt or dessert

Yogurt tubes are unrecyclable, why not choose a large yogurt pot and decant some into a small container? Reuse the pot for glue or paint pots, or as a flowerpot for seedlings; when finished make sure you recycle it. Choose products with a foil lid which can be recycled along with the pot in your green recycling box and make sure to pack a metal/reusable spoon.

The crisps

Instead of an individual packet each day, why not buy a large packet and fill a reusable container with a few crisps each day. Popcorn is a good alternative; a bag of kernels will go much further than crisps. It will make far less waste and it is fun for the kids to help make!

The biscuit

Why not buy a large packet of biscuits and put a couple into an old takeaway container or wrap them in tin foil each day? Even better, you could make your own muesli bar/energy balls with the children for lunches instead.

Alternatively, try to choose products in recyclable packets i.e. card, paper and foil rather than plastic, remember the scrunch test: If an item looks like it might contain foil, scrunch it up into a ball. If it stays tightly scrunched, it is foil and can be recycled. If it starts to unfold it is paper or plastic-backed foil that can’t be recycled!

Avoiding single-use materials can be difficult but reducing can be easy.

The food itself is just as important; if your child regularly brings home the same uneaten foods then can you find an alternative? Uneaten food is a waste of resources and contributes largely to our changing climate.

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