Reduce Your Rubbish

The most efficient way to stop waste is not to make it. We reduce the amount of waste we create by buying few products and by purchasing products that last longer.

Cloth bags are a good alternative to plastic bags
Cloth bags are a great
alternative to plastic

The most efficient way to reduce waste is not to produce it.  Reducing waste is more important that reusing or recycling.  With reducing, less is consumed, less is needed and less waste is created in the first place - and each person's contribution counts.  The amount of waste we make is directly linked to the consumption of goods and services: the greater our wealth, the more we waste.

Did you know that last year, on average each Southland dumped 545 kilograms of rubbish in the Southland Regional Landfill.

What can I do?

  • We can reduce the amount of waste we create by buying fewer products and by buying products that last longer.
  • Mending broken or worn items of clothing or equipment also helps to minimise waste.
  • We can use our 'consumer power' to influence manu-facturers and retailers by avoiding  products that do not have eco-labelling, or by choosing products that minimise the use of packaging.
  • Every year 1 billion plastic bags are used in New Zealand.  To reduce the number of plastic bags we use, take your own bag with you when you go shopping. 

What can my business do?

Manufacturers and Retailers have a part to play in reducing our waste. Products can be designed, built and used in ways to reduce the amount and nature of the waste produced during their lifetime.  For example:

  • A dressmaker can arrange pattern pieces on a length of fabric in a  way that  enables the garment to be cut out from the smallest area of fabric.
  • Paper mills can return any damaged rolls of paper to the beginning of the production line (to start again).
  • Off-cuts and scraps of plastics can be re-incorporated into the production line of a plastics factory.
  • Improving a product's durability can reduce waste. For example, extending a vacuum cleaner's useful like from 10 years to 15 years improves resource efficiency.
  • Reducing the number of parts used in a product or making the product easier to take apart can make it easier to repair or recycle at the end of its useful life.
  • Products can be packaged with recyclable materials, for example cardboard or glass. 


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