Do you know what happens to items you throw away? From plastic food wraps to empty tins, leftover food scraps to dirty cleaning wipes, the UK generates a staggering 222.9 million tonnes of waste every year1 - but where does it go? It may surprise to you find out that less than half of all waste is recycled, with some councils even burning up to 80%2.
Of the waste that’s left much of it ends up in landfill, where it will start to very slowly decompose in a sealed, oxygen free environment. Because of the lack of oxygen, bacteria in the waste produces the potent greenhouse gas methane – one of the greatest contributors to global warming3.
So what can we do about it? Shockingly up to 80 percent of things we throw away could easily be composted or recycled. What’s more, UK households are throwing away between £250 and £400 worth of edible food each year4. If we started to compost or repurpose our waste by upcycling, the amount of waste going to landfill or being incinerated would dramatically drop, benefitting our environment.
At Zip Water, we strive for a future with less waste. We ensure our premium drinking water products such as the HydroTap and HydroChill eliminate the need for planet damaging and wasteful single-use plastic water bottles by providing great tasting mains-fed filtered water that’s free of chemicals and contaminants. That’s why, in conjunction with Zero Waste Week, we have put together a list of top tips to creatively repurpose your waste:
- Use egg boxes for growing new plants. You can place a seed with a little soil in the cups and then, once they get big enough, you can plant the seed with the cup straight into your garden.
- Jars of jam, honey or yoghurt can be repurposed into many different useful things – why not try using one for holding jewellery, as a candle holder or a new soap dispenser.
- Who’d of thought that an old rake could make such a good coat hanger? Paint the wooden holder to match your décor then fix it onto your wall near the front door.
- Repurpose old clothes into cushion covers, rugs or teapot cosies. Don’t worry if you’re not feeling very creative – they work just as well as dusters for around the house!
- Food scraps currently make up 30 percent of all waste but can instead be composted or used for another purpose – did you know eggshells can be sprinkled on soil to boost plant growth or that used coffee grounds can be put in the freezer to neutralize odours?
- Plastic bottles can be repurposed into just about anything you can think of – try making a new pot for pens and pencils, creating a watering can or cutting a bottle sideways to create a new plant pot.
- Got an old jumper or shirt that has lots of bobbles? No need to dispose of it as old disposable razors can remove these no problem!
- From keeping wires together to making great toys for pets, there are so many ways to repurpose toilet or kitchen rolls so they never go to waste.
- Got an old drawer, box or suitcase? Fix to your wall as the basis for some new shelves!
- Stray buttons, gems, stones or clips can all be attached to unused metals like biscuit cutters or bells to make wind chimes – a perfect handcrafted gift!
Good luck on your zero waste journey!