Record level of household waste in Ashfield
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Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy is urging people across England to try to reduce their packaging waste ahead of Christmas, after figures showed a rise in the amount of household rubbish generated nationally in the first year of the pandemic.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs data shows Ashfield Council collected an average of 396.1 kilograms of household waste per person from homes in the area in 2020-21 – the equivalent of about 99 family-sized turkeys each.
That was up from 352.8kg the year before, and the most waste per person since comparable records began in 2008-09.
But residents were less wasteful than the average person across England last year – 420.6kg of household waste was collected per person nationally on average, compared with 407.3kg in 2019-20.
Allison Ogden-Newton, Keep Britain Tidy chief executive, said more than 100,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated on Christmas Day across Britain and a billion cards are thrown away.
She said: “We all have a part to play in making the changes that will limit global warming and stem the rising tide of plastic choking our oceans.
"Think about what you buy, what you consume and what you will do with the packaging waste you create and make the right choices for our environment.”
About 36 per cent of household waste in Ashfield was sent for reuse, recycling or composting in 2020-21 – down from 37 per cent in 2019-20.
Greenpeace said the considerable rise in national household waste is worrying.
Nina Schrank, Greenpeace UK senior campaigner, said the coronavirus pandemic will have contributed, with people receiving more deliveries and disposing of more waste at home – but said too much packaging is sold already.
She said: “At Christmas time, we become even more aware of our rubbish as we pile up packaging and wrapping when preparing food and opening presents.”
Resources and waste minister Jo Churchill said councils faced unprecedented challenges to keep rubbish collections running during the pandemic
She said: “Recycling and reusing more of our waste is key to helping us protect the environment for future generations.”