The Telegraph carries a recent press release on tips on reducing waste this Christmas and a statement from Minster Pow.
The festive period is a hotbed for food and packaging waste. Recycling charity, WRAP, reports that UK households throw away enough gravy to accompany Christmas dinner for the whole country and last Christmas we consumed enough card packaging to cover Big Ben nearly 260,000 times.
Small steps make a big difference and the government is recommending a series of tips to minimise waste this Christmas, including reusing items such as plastic carrier bags and envelopes, and buying items with less packaging or second-hand items.
This government is passionate about tackling food waste. In 2019 alone, Ben Elliot has taken up the mantle of Food Waste Champion, launched the Step Up to the Plate pledge which around 130 businesses have signed, and launched a £15 million scheme to help reduce food waste from all sources, including through tackling barriers to redistribution.
The piece includes tips on ways households can reduce the damage their Christmas celebrations do to the environment including:
- Avoid wasting food. Overindulgence is as synonymous with Christmas as Santa but the more food we buy, the more likely it is to be wasted. Instead freeze your Christmas leftovers, plan your meals using WRAP’s handy portion calculator and give loose apples and potatoes a go so you don't waste the rest of the pack.
- Contact your local Furniture Re-use Network - they distribute unwanted furniture and household goods to those in need.
- Think before you shop. For example, you could buy things with less packaging, or second-hand items. To avoid taking home more carrier bags, choose reusable shopping bags: keep them in the car boot or pop a folded cotton bag in your handbag or pocket so you always have one to hand.
- Recycle or re-plant your ‘real’ Christmas tree this year. 'Real' Christmas trees can be recycled and turned into chippings for parks. Some local authorities have special collections or organise drop-off points. Otherwise they can be taken to your household waste recycling centre.
- Unwanted decorations in good condition can be donated to charity shops for re-sale and re-use.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow, said:
Christmas is a time to enjoy indulging with the family, but that doesn’t have to come at the expense of our environment.
Each year, UK households throw away enough gravy to accompany Christmas dinner for the whole country and last Christmas, we consumed enough card packaging to cover Big Ben nearly 260,000 times.
Without the support of people across the country, we simply cannot achieve our goal of reducing unnecessary waste and leaving the environment in a better state for future generations. By making a few small changes - buying items with less packaging, cooking up delicious dinners from your leftover turkey, reusing last year’s wrapping paper - we can all enjoy a greener Christmas to help us save money and the planet.