The Western Cape’s Waste Crisis – What You Can Do

The Western Cape’s Waste Crisis – What You Can Do

We all know that waste is a big problem worldwide, but things become very real when it starts hitting home.

The provincial Environmental Affairs Department has recently warned that many landfill sites across the Western Cape are starting to reach full capacity with plastic bags and plastic straws being one of the big culprits.  This is an issue that cannot be solved by the Municipalities alone, it will take the effort of all residents to direct waste away from landfill sites.

 

Here are 10 things you can do to reduce the amount of waste you send off to landfill:

  1. Spoiler alert – you’ve heard this one before! Yep, you need to recycle.  It often seems like a huge task, but just having designated bins for paper, glass and plastic, can make a big difference already.  Drop off your recyclables once a month at your nearest recycling facility and you’re done.  Check out our Ultimate Recycling Guide here.
  2. Keep your food waste out of landfill by throwing it into a bokashi bin, starting a worm farm or composting it for your garden. Cooking with food scraps is also the in-thing these days.  Here are some great recipes for you to try!
  3. It is estimated that we use a million plastic bottles every minute worldwide (what?) ,making plastic water bottles a big non-no. Rather buy a reusable bottle and fill up.
  4. Try to avoid packaged, processed foods. The plastic packaging creates waste and it’s also generally not great for your health!
  5. Refuse the straw! Plastic straws are a threat to marine life, will not biodegrade and often contain BPA.  If you must use a straw, reusable (bamboo, glass, stainless steel etc.) or paper straws are a better options.
  6. Avoid plastic bags by taking reusable shopping bags with you to the grocery store. As plastic bags are one of the biggest contributors to landfill waste, this is a small change that can make a huge difference!
  7. Consider whether you can donate, swap, sell or repair old items before simply throwing them away. Creating something entirely new from old items can be fun for those among us who enjoy creative projects!
  8. Start making EcoBricks with your waste. It’s so easy to do and consists of placing your waste inside a 2L plastic bottle.  Once completely full, you can donate your bricks to any EcoBrick project.
  9. Ditch the Handy Andy. Making your own DIY cleaning products means you cut down on packaging as well as avoid nasty toxins.  Find some great DIY cleaning recipes
  10. When it comes to food packaging (or any packaging for that matter) go for biodegradable and compostable products. Styrofoam and plastic food packaging should be avoided at all cost if we want to make a dent in the amount of waste we produce!

 

Do you have any tips not mentioned above?  Feel free to let us know in the comment section below!

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