Skip to main content

What you throw away

Find out ways to reduce your carbon emissions by making some small changes to what you throw away.

Published on: 23 June 2022

Last updated: 23 June 2022

Reducing your waste

Westminster’s resident recycling rate is very low – about 24% in 2021 compared to a London average of about 33% and a UK average of about 42%. However, the rate has improved from about 20% in 2020.

There are lots of ways to reduce waste, especially single-use plastics. Many of us are now avoiding plastic bottles by carrying our own re-usable water bottles and coffee cups. Going beyond this, many brands are now offering low-plastic alternatives of common items.

Below are some areas to start thinking about.

Reducing Plastic in the Bathroom

Bathroom and hygiene items traditionally contain a lot of plastic, but there are alternatives:

  • Use bars rather than bottles for items such as soap, shampoo, conditioner and facial cleanser
  • Use toothbrushes with removable heads that can be swapped out when worn
  • Look for re-fillable versions of many common items such as deodorant, makeup containers and antibacterial spray
  • Try out reusable nappies and washable period products rather than disposable nappies or sanitary towels

Reducing Plastic on the go

Use the Refill app to find locations near you that offer water re-fills, plastic-free shopping, or where you can fill your own container with food.

If you like to eat on the go, the Caulibox scheme lets you order food from some suppliers which will be delivered in a reusable lunchbox. You can then return the lunchbox to be cleaned and re-used by someone else. Strutton Ground and Tatchbrook markets in south Westminster are both participating in the scheme. 

The Waste and Resources Action Programme has set up the UK Plastics Pact, which many leading brands have signed up to.