Summer is the season of waste

An estimated five million barbeques took place in Britain over the August Bank Holiday, generating a huge mountain of waste.

And this, says national campaign Recycle Now, is just the tip of the iceberg as over 100 million barbies are fired up over the summer leading to tonnes of waste from food packaging along with 160 million plastic bottles, 320 million beer cans and 485 million bottles.

Recycle Now's Julie Brown said: "Summer is one of the busier times of year for waste collection services, particularly for metal cans, plastic and glass bottles and garden waste.

"The unpredictable British weather means many people leave their barbeque planning and shopping to the last minute, but hurried menu planning, last minute choices and worries about providing enough for everyone to eat can lead to over catering and increased waste."

The campaign has produced a list of tips to encourage better waste management at home.

  • Try and confirm - wherever possible - how many people you are catering for and make a shopping list so you only buy what you need.
  • Buy your fruit and vegetables loose and not pre-packed and look for other BBQ goodies with less packaging.
  • Buy freezer packs of bread rolls so you can save and re-use what you don't need.
  • Use your own cutlery and crockery rather than paper plates and plastic knives and forks - there will be less to go in your bin.
  • Put a recycling container next to the cool box to collect empty drinks cans and bottles - it will make recycling easier.

    Recycle now is also highlighting the environmental cost of that other summer favourite, the short break.

    "Every year, people pack thousands of disposable pens, razors, batteries, tissues and nappies - all things designed to be thrown away when they are finished with," said Julie Brown.

    "While it's tempting to pack disposable products, buying reusable ones could save you money which you can enjoy spending on extra holiday treats.

    "The disposable way of life also costs more in the end, with both bank balances and the environment taking the strain."

    By Sam Bond

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