New Year Resolution

For most of us, Christmas is an opportunity to wind down and relax after a long, hard year. It's a time for families to get together and exchange presents – and for some of us to stuff ourselves silly! But Christmas also generates a phenomenal amount of additional waste.

Just think about all those piles of wrapping paper scattered like confetti across bedroom and living room floors. Then there's all the packaging that is discarded from the vast amount of food that families squirrel away to cover the Christmas season. Not to mention all of the unwanted food that people are unable to eat. All of this waste has to go somewhere.

This week, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson called on Londoners to recycle the mountains of rubbish generated rather than bin the waste and send it to landfill. A few days later, the Merseyside Recycling Waste Authority echoed this message. It makes perfect sense. By recycling rubbish cash-strapped local authorities will not have to fork out costly landfill charges and the discarded material can be put to good use in recycled products.

But this still raises questions about our consumption habits. The Mayor estimates that over the two weeks of Christmas and New Year, London will generate an extra 29,000 tonnes of household waste. That's a lot of extra rubbish for waste collection services to pick up. It also poses a challenge for material recycling facilities, which can often struggle to store the increased volume in waste.

Traditionally, the New Year is a time for making resolutions and eschewing some of our bad habits. Recycling more rather than sending rubbish to landfill would be a good place to start. But even better would be a real effort to reduce what we consume and generate less waste in the first place. 

Nick Warburton

Topics: edie
Tags: | food | packaging
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