The following provide you with lots of ideas to choose from. Remember no-one can do everything but everyone can do something!
There are a few good reasons why we should start to think about our shopping habits and try and reduce our packaging:
Time, Money and Petrol—If you don't buy the packaging in the first place, then you don't have to reuse, recycle or dispose of it.
Resources—The more we waste, the more resources (such as oil, wood, aluminium) that we use up. The less we buy, the longer our resources will last for our future generations and the less environmental damage will be caused by extracting them.
Use our Consumer Power—We all have influence as consumers and should use it. Make the most environmentally friendly choice when buying packaged products - if a product is not available, ask for it!Below are some steps that you can follow to prevent and minimise your waste production:
Packaging is necessary to keep food fresh and uncontaminated but it is often used to make products look more substantial and attractive. All packaging has an environmental impact due to the energy used in production, the chemicals and non-renewable resources used in manufacturing and the difficulties of disposal. Careful shopping is a good way to cut down on packaging waste.
Did you know? Over one third of what we put into our bin is made up of packaging, some of which we can reuse or recycle and some which we have to send to landfill.
|1.||Vegetables/Fruit||Loose - avoid plastic bags, trays etc.|
|4.||Water (Plastic Bottles)||Remember water quality in most Local Authority regions is impeccable. Chlorine taste will evaporate from a jug of water left standing or if boiled. If in doubt install a water filter. If you must, buy water in the biggest container possible|
|5.||Fizzy Drinks||Buy Aluminium cans and recycle/buy one large bottle|
|6.||Eggs||Buy cardboard/free range|
|7.||Dog Food (Tins)||Dry Dog Meal|
|8.||Cat Food||Buy in bulk/dry cat food|
|9.||Bread (Plastic wrap)||Fresh Bread from baker - avoid over packaging|
|10.||Biscuits||Packaged in cardboard - avoid individually wrapped|
|11.||Crisps||Big packets and split|
|12.||Sweets/Chocolate||Big bars and split - avoid fun size with excess packaging|
|13.||Pasta||Packaged in cardboard|
|14.||Pasta Sauces||Glass jars|
|16.||Yoghurt||Large pots/in cardboard packaging|
|17.||Microwave Dinners||Cook large meals and freeze leftovers in take-away containers. See ni.lovefoodhatewaste.com
|18.||Rice (boil in bag)||Packaged in cardboard|
|19.||Chips||Buy in bulk|
|20.||Fish (Frozen)||Packaged in cardboard|
|21.||Butter/Margarine||Buy in bulk (use containers for freezer storage)|
|22.||Vegetables (Frozen)||Buy in bulk/buy cardboard|
|23.||Cheese||Buy in bulk with re-sealable packaging - avoid excess packaging|
FACT: Every plastic bag we throw away stays buried in the ground for up to 500 years before it finally breaks down. We use around 250 million carrier bags in Northern Ireland every year. In Northern Ireland from the 8th of April 2013 you will be charged at least 5p for new single use carrier bags. The aim is to help protect the environment by cutting the number of carrier bags we use. When you need a new single use bag, the 5p you pay will help fund environmental projects.
You can find out more about the Carrier Bag Levy at www.nidirect.gov.uk/baglevy.