Resource Use

Four-in-five Brits concerned about levels of waste as Zero Waste Week kicks off

Four-in-five Brits admit that they are either ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about the levels of Britain’s waste, according to a new poll released today (4 September) to coincide with the start of Zero Waste Week, an annual awareness campaign to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

The poll, which saw research agency Populus survey 2,000 UK adults and was commissioned by Zero Waste Week, shows that 77 per cent of adults were either ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ with Britain’s waste situation, with 85 per cent of people aged 65 and over concerned compared to less than 75 per cent of those between 25 and 34.

The news coincides with the beginning of  Zero Waste Week 2017, running from 4-8 September across the UK and around the world to encourage individuals to reduce their waste patterns and send less rubbish to landfill.

Commenting on the Populus poll, Zero Waste Week founder and Resource Hot 100 2014 winner Rachelle Strauss said: “It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Great British Public is growing more and more concerned by the amount of waste that ends up in landfill or at the bottom of the ocean.

“This year millions of people around the world are coming together to reduce waste through reuse, recycling and repurposing material so that it can be used for as long as possible. It’s vital that businesses, governments and citizens come together in a bid to call time on the ticking time-bomb that is household waste.”

“This poll reveals that Brits are becoming increasingly anxious about the amount of waste they throw away,” said Chris Murphy, Deputy Chief Executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM). “We would like to see public concerns over waste translated into decisive action such as less litter, more recycling, and less food waste.”

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Zero Waste Week 2017

Zero Waste Week encourages members of the public to pledge to make small changes to their lifestyles to reduce their waste and consumption habits in order to ease pressure on the environment, save money and regain a healthy relationship with resources and consumption.

Zero Waste Week has a global reach, with initiatives promoting the week taking place in 73 countries around the world.

Every year a different theme is given to the week – last year’s was food waste – and for 2017 the week is asking the public to ‘ReThink your Waste’, with each individual day in the week assigned a different topic:

  • Monday – Make do and mend;
  • Tuesday – A zero waste challenge;
  • Wednesday – Upcycling;
  • Thursday – Top tips for a successful zero waste lifestyle; and
  • Friday – Food waste.

Events inspired, but not organized by, Zero Waste Week will be running across the country to engage people in thinking about the waste they produce, while the Zero Waste Week website will be full of hints, tips and resources for those wishing to cut down on their waste, with individuals, businesses, education establishments and local authorities all being targeted.

To find out more about Zero Waste Week and to find out how you can get involved, visit the Zero Waste Week website and search the #ZeroWasteWeek hashtag, and read our full interview with Rachelle Strauss on the history of Zero Waste Week.

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