Plastic Free July Image by millefloreimages AdobeStock_274798422

Plastic Free July is a global movement to help people be part of the solution to plastic pollution, so we can have cleaner streets, oceans and communities.

Bedford Borough Council said it has seen over 13% more rubbish put in black bins during the pandemic, which equates to almost 5,000 tonnes more waste.

Recycle Now estimates that 79% of the plastic waste ever created is still in our environment, and only 58% of plastic bottles are recycled.

By reusing and recycling items as many times as possible, for example by recycling used plastic bottles into new ones, we can all reduce our need to create new plastic.

This means we can conserve non-renewable fossil fuels (oil), reduce the consumption of energy used in the production of new plastic, and reduce emission of gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

There is lots of helpful advice out there to help you reduce your use of plastic and recycle more of it, here’s just a few to get you started:

  • Remember to take your own bags to the supermarket – they can be re-used multiple times and plastic carrier bags can be recycled at many supermarket collection points if you’re no longer able to use them.
  • Instead of getting a coffee in a take away cup, grabbing lunch on the go or buying a bottle of water- use a reusable hot drinks cup, lunch box or water bottle and you can even save yourself some money
  • Check out reusable alternatives to many single-use plastics from toothbrushes to drinks straws- do a little research to find sustainable alternatives that will work best for you.

Cllr Charles Royden, portfolio holder for environment, said:

“With all of us doing our best to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’: reducing what we buy to just what we need and will use, reusing what we can, and recycling as much as possible from what’s left- we can all do our part to create less waste. So take a look at the list above, or get googling and find ways that work for you to bring down your use of plastics.

“Bedford Borough Council- like lots of councils around the country- provides a kerbside plastic recycling collection. Just rinse out your plastic bottles, yoghurt tubs, fruit punnets, meat trays, butter tubs and lids, and more and give it a good squish before you place it into your recycling bin.”