Reduce, reuse and recycle

  • 17 January 2008
Reduce, reuse and recycle

Scotland currently landfills around 7 million tonnes of waste a year – around 2 million tonnes of which comes from households across the country.

The bulk of this waste ends up buried deep in landfill sites rotting and produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas which contributes to climate change.

We can, however, all play a part in protecting our environment - now and for future generations - and the 10 greener pledges below are a good place to start.

You don’t have to make 10 pledges. Why not start with the simple pledge to recycle more household waste?

It may not seem a lot but recycling can make a big difference if we all do it more. Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a TV for an hour and a half.

Over £800 million worth of food is wasted in Scotland each year. The average person in Scotland throws away their own body weight in waste every seven weeks! Stopping this would save enough carbon dioxide to take the equivalent of one in four cars off the road.

It’s becoming easier all the time to recycle your waste. Kerbside recycling is now available to 75% of Scottish homes and there are recycling facilities are also available at most supermarkets. There are likely to be council refuse centres and other recycling locations near where you live.

The Sort-it website ( will help you find out what materials can be recycled where in your area.

With just a few simple changes to your daily routine you can take a big step toward reducing the amount of your waste.

Reduce the amount of food waste you create by thinking more about the amount of food you buy, how it’s stored and the size of portions cooked. Also, where you can, get creative with your leftovers as the bulk of thrown away food is perfectly edible. For more advice on limiting food waste, check out:

Reuse carrier bags instead of taking new ones every time you visit the shops – simply keep the same one and use it again and again!

Buy rechargeable batteries instead of disposables and save money while helping to save the environment from waste pollution.

By reducing the amount of waste we create, reusing what we can and recycling what we can’t, we can each do our bit to build a greener, sustainable Scotland – today and for the generations to come.

Check out the 10 greener pledges below and see what you can do.

10 Greener Pledges for 2008

  1. Recycle household waste using locally-provided facilities
  2. Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth
  3. Switch to using energy-saving light bulbs
  4. Leave the car at home at least once a week, and cycle, walk, share a car or use public transport more often
  5. Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones
  6. Reuse carrier bags when you shop
  7. Buy more seasonal and unpackaged food
  8. Hang your washing up to dry rather than using a tumbler dryer
  9. Organise or volunteer in an environmental project in your local community
  10. Pay back the environmental impact of any flights you take and choose not to fly when there’s a suitable alternative
Pledge your support

For more information on waste awareness, log onto:


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