Scotland's latest recycling figures are rubbish so let's all do better - Ilona Amos

Tis the season of excess – we eat too much, drink too much, spend too much and also waste too much.

Preparations for the festivities can go on for weeks – shopping for gifts, sourcing all our favourite gastronomic goodies, wrapping up countless parcels and making sure everything is just right for the big day.

Then, just a few short hours after kick-off, we’re left stuffed and groaning amidst piles of tattered paper, empty boxes and enough leftover turkey and sprouts to feed an army for a month.

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Lots of fun, but not great for the waistline, the pocket or the environment.

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It’s encouraging to see concern over climate change and plastic pollution has seen many people making a bigger effort to have a green Christmas in recent years, opting for recyclable wrap, cutting packaging, ditching glitter and sending e-cards instead of their paper equivalents.

And, of course, recycling as much of our waste as possible, cutting the amount sent to landfill.

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So it’s pretty depressing to see Scotland has come bottom of the UK’s waste league tables, with just over 40 per cent of household trash recycled in the past year.

England didn’t do much better, achieving 42 per cent, compared to nearly 51 per cent in Northern Ireland and more than 64 per cent in Wales.

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We can all do more to improve our carbon footprint by reducing waste, reusing leftovers and recycling everything possible - including Christmas trees

The Scottish statistics show we have a very long way to go to reach our national target to achieve a recycling rate of 70 per cent by 2025.

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And it will be even more difficult after repeated delays to the country’s deposit return system, described as a ”game-changer” that will help recycle billions of bottles and cans every year.

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Recycling Sorter tool created to help end confusion over waste and bins across S...
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Initially due to be rolled out in April this year, it’s now not expected to be up and running until August 2023, with Covid and Brexit cited as contributing factors.

We have a big problem with rubbish that we desperately need to solve. And soon.

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Councils, some more than others, need to up their game on waste collection and disposal.

But we can all do our best to reduce, reuse and recycle more in the coming year.

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And there’s no time like the present.

We can start right away with a bit of innovation in the kitchen – pulled turkey tacos, anyone, or sprout and chestnut frittata?

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