We know that 88 per cent of UK households regularly recycle, writes service improvement officer Jenny Lowes.

That’s what the Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) recycling tracker tells us.

However, the data shows that 87% of UK households recycle one or more items that are not accepted in the kerbside recycling. And 57% miss one or more items that could be recycled at the kerbside.

We want to get people recycling the right things more often. If you haven’t got a box/bag or bin and you’re wondering if you should have, then simply type in your postcode into the Recycle Now recycling locator to check what you should have.

In the UK, we go through an estimated 14 billion plastic drinks bottles and around nine billion drinks cans every year. At the end of January, the Government published its response to a consultation on a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

With a DRS, the Government wants to see 85% fewer drinks containers discarded as litter three years from the scheme’s launch. From October 2025, the three nations will have a system where drinks containers made from PET plastic, steel and aluminium are ‘in scope’. Wales will also include glass.

The actual value of the deposit is not yet known, but DEFRA said that 60 per cent of responses to its consultation were in favour of a 20p deposit. We are hopeful that this will mean less litter and councils will save on litter costs. Despite concerns that I personally have (we have a great kerbside recycling system already set up – I for one do not want to be taking any more items back to the supermarket), there is certainly a public appetite for the introduction of a DRS across the UK. So watch this space and see what impact it has on types of packaging available and if we change what and how we buy.

Next month our North Yorkshire Rotters will be proudly supporting Love Food Hate Waste’s Food Waste Action Week 2023 and will be out at events, including live cooking sessions from 6 March to 12 March. Find out more about the Rotters and their events.

The theme for Food Waste Action Week 2023 is ‘Win Don’t Bin’ and it will demonstrate how valuable food is in our lives and how using up everything we buy saves money, time and the planet. 

The campaign will focus on using up leftovers by promoting a range of skills that can be easily adopted but potentially have the greatest impact on reducing food waste in the home, helping us all to save time and money by making the food we already have go further.

You can follow our social media content during #FoodWasteActionWeek.

Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website.