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Top tips for a sustainable summer

15th July 2022 Posted by

So summer is definitely here, and with temperatures set to soar by an additional 10 degrees in the next few days, most of us have got a little bit more than we bargained for. The current heatwave in the UK is a result of hot air flowing to the UK from continental Europe. Climate breakdown is making heatwaves hotter, longer and more frequent and experts are warning that this is only the beginning.

Extremely high temperatures aside, long days and warm evenings make us spend more time outside, enjoying garden parties, barbeques, picnics and day trips. However, let’s not forget to protect the environment where we’re spending our time. There are small things we can all do, which add up to big changes. So, whether this year’s British summer time brings us rain or shine… or a heatwave, here are our top 10 tips to recycle more and make your summer a bit more sustainable.

1.The value of glass bottles – While it’s well known that plastic bottles take many years to decompose, did you know glass bottles can take even longer to degrade if they are not recycled? Glass is a valuable resource because it can be recycled over and over again without loss of quality. However, once it ends up in landfill, it takes up valuable space, where it will stay for thousands of years. Rinse and recycle your glass bottles and jars so this precious resource doesn’t go to waste.

Rinse glass bottles and jars before recycling #SustainableSummer

#SustainableSummer – glass recycling

2. Any unwanted clothes can be recycled – Whether you’re giving your summer wardrobe a refresh or updating school uniforms, remember anything that’s too damaged to be repaired or given to charity, can still be recycled. With around 336,000 tonnes of used clothing going to landfill in the UK every year, think twice before throwing your unwanted clothes in the bin. Instead, take them to your local textile bank which can be found at a local supermarket, car park or household waste recycling centre (HWRC) where they can be recycled into new items such as padding for chairs or cleaning cloths.

3. Don’t forget the electricals – From electronic toothbrushes to laptops, if an item contains batteries or a plug, chances are, it can be recycled. What’s more, these items contain really valuable raw materials – for instance, just one household iron contains enough steel to produce 13 steel cans! Aside from your local HWRC, some retailers offer free recycling schemes or take back options for unwanted electricals.

4.Choose to re-use – The equivalent of one truckload of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute. Single-use plastics are one of the main culprits which end up harming our wildlife. Simple switches such as opting for reusable bags, water bottles and cutlery can help prevent single-use plastics from ending up in the ocean.

5. Cardboard boxes – When you cool off with an ice lolly, remember to recycle the cardboard box. Cardboard gets recycled into materials such as newspapers, more cardboard boxes or even toilet roll!

6. The scrunch test for foil – If you’re enjoying a barbeque in the warm weather, household foil and aluminium trays are widely recycled, just remember to rinse off any leftover food beforehand. To see whether foil can be recycled, do the scrunch test. Simply scrunch the foil in your hand, and if it springs back open, it can’t be recycled.

7. Don’t bin the batteries – It’s essential that batteries are recycled, not just because of the environmental impact but also for the safety of your waste collection crews. This is because when batteries are thrown into the bin, they can be punctured during the waste disposal process, causing them to ignite. It’s estimated that almost half of fires in waste facilities are started by batteries. To recycle batteries responsibly, take them to your HWRC or designated recycling point at a supermarket.

Take unwanted batteries to your local recycling centre or collection point in a supermarket #SustainableSummer

#SustainableSummer – batteries recycling

8. The infinitely recyclable drinking can – Enjoying a can of your favourite fizzy drink on a hot summer’s day is lovely, but what’s more refreshing is, just like glass, drink cans can be recycled an infinite amount of times. Furthermore, once you recycle a can, it can be made into a new can and back onto the supermarket shelves in as little as 60 days!

9. Put grass clippings to work – If you’re planning to mow the lawn at the weekend, be sure to put the grass trimmings to good use. Leaving the clippings on the lawn can allow the nutrients to be reabsorbed into the soil. They are also an excellent source of nutrients for your compost heap.

Leave glass clippings on the lawn to allow nutrients to be reabsorbed into the soil #SustainableSummer

#SustainableSummer – grass clippings

10. Bring it home – Once the sun comes out, many of us head to the local park for picnics. Remember to take your waste home with you so it can be recycled. While it can be tempting to find the closest general waste bin, perhaps some of the waste can be recycled. Lots of packaging is recyclable from plastic bottles to paper packaging.

So, there we have it. What are some of your summer recycling tips?   Sustainability is also good for your business. Have you thought what changes you can make in your workplace? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below or join in the conversation on social media by hash tagging #SustainableSummer.

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