International Day of Zero Waste

March 30, 2023

Today (30 March 2023) marks the UN’s first International Day of Zero Waste.

This awareness day aims to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns and raise awareness about how zero-waste initiatives contribute to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Globally, the earth’s populations generate an estimated 2.24 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste annually. By 2050, this could rise to 3.88 billion tonnes per year.

Closer to home, in 2020/21 Surrey residents produced almost 540,000 tonnes of waste. As calculated by the Surrey Environment Partnership, 55.1% was recycled, 41.1% was turned into energy and 3.8% was landfilled.

We can all play our part to reduce the amount of waste we produce.

Here are Planet Woking’s tips for reducing waste:

  • Help minimise packaging and reduce single use plastics by buying loose fruit and vegetables and taking your own containers and bags when shopping.
  • Follow Surrey Environment Partnership’s guidance on what to do with waste items to maximise your household recycling.
  • Reduce food waste and use your food caddy to dispose of any appropriate leftovers.
  • Make do and mend. Repair and reuse products where you can, prolonging their useful life.
  • Use bulky waste collections or schemes such as Woking Community Furniture Project to enable the reuse of furniture etc.
  • Swerve single use items such as disposable barbecues and opt for longer lasting sustainable options.
  • Avoid fast fashion – did you know it takes 2,700 litres of water to create enough cotton to make just one t-shirt? That’s enough water to sustain a person for 900 days (source: WWF).
  • Home composting helps to divert garden waste and some uncooked fruit and vegetable waste from disposal, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing gardeners with their own supply of compost. Planet Woking offers some tips on how to get started.  
  • Check out discounts available on composting bins and hot composters on the Surrey Environment Partnership website.
  • Discover local zero waste and refill shops, such as Bare+Fair in Victoria Place shopping centre. With an extensive range of refillable products available, including food, toiletries, household cleaning products, skincare and beauty, it’s a great way to avoid plastic packaging.
  • When you’re out and about take a reusable bottle. You can get free water refills from lots of Refill Woking participants.


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