Reduce and reuse your waste

Reducing the amount of rubbish we produce should be our first consideration. By thinking about what we buy we can cut the amount of rubbish that ends up in our bins. The easiest way to reduce waste is not to buy it in the first place.

Ways to reduce your rubbish

  • buy a garden compost bin or a food digester to reduce your garden and kitchen waste
  • avoid pre-packed items when shopping
  • take a reusable shopping bag with you instead of using plastic carrier bags
  • take unwanted medicines back to the chemist for them to dispose of
  • buy energy saving light bulbs, which save your money in the long run because they need replacing less often
  • avoid buying over packaged goods
  • buy products sold in refill packs or concentrated products
  • try to buy less - don't fall for 'buy one get one free' unless you can really use the free one
  • stop receiving junk mail by signing up to The Mailing Preference Service

The Mailing Preference Service
London W1E 7EZ
Tel: 0845 703 4599
or register online at

What you can do

  • use sandwich boxes for your packed lunch instead of plastic bags
  • use refillable drinks bottles
  • reuse envelopes with sticky labels for new addresses
  • pass on unwanted comics, books, clothes, toys, games etc to friends or charity shops
  • buying refillable pens and pencils and refilling bottles, sprays and cartridges
  • donating magazines to hairdressers, doctors and dentists
  • reuse what plastic carrier bags you have
  • use real reusable nappies
  • use re-chargeable batteries

Useful links