Each household produces about 1 tonne of rubbish annually, amounting to about 27 million tonnes for the UK each year. The amount is increasing, because increasing affluence leads to more being consumed and lifestyles are changing, so more fast and convenience food is eaten. Also new packaging materials and technology are being developed. About a quarter of the waste in the average household bin is packaging waste.

Throwing away things wastes resources. It wastes the raw materials and energy used in making the items and it wastes money. Disposing of waste has huge environmental impacts and can cause serious problems. Reducing waste means less environmental impact, less resources and energy used and saves money.

There are many things one can do to reduce one’s waste, and more local authorities have schemes, often doorstep collections for recycling glass, paper and plastic. Lots of other things can also be recycled – see Green Choices product-by-product guide to recycling and there’s lots of information available.