Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE has said recycling is not a solution but a “last resort” ahead of the environmental charity’s Buy Nothing New Month campaign.
Buy Nothing New Month will run throughout January and encourage consumers to make changes to their buying habits, such as purchasing less, buying pre-used, reusing items, repairing or rehoming products rather than throwing them away.
The campaign is run by Keep Britain Tidy and supported by its partner Olio, a sharing app that allows people to find and share items with others living locally. Throughout January, Keep Britain Tidy and sustainability and lifestyle experts will also give consumers tips on how to repair, rent, borrow or reuse what they already have in their households.
Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton OBE, said: “It’s time to connect the dots. Buying new things has an impact on the environment.
“To tackle the damage done to the planet by our excessive consumption, the focus needs to shift from mindlessly throwing things away to thinking about what we buy in the first place and what we do with things we no longer want or need.
We need to stop kidding ourselves that recycling is a solution – it’s a last resort.
“We need to stop kidding ourselves that recycling is a solution – it’s a last resort.”
The campaign was launched following a YouGov poll conducted on behalf of Keep Britain Tidy. The survey found 68% of UK adults “mistakenly believed recycling is the best thing they can do to reduce the environmental impact of the things they buy”, Keep Britain Tidy says.
85% of respondents believed that recycling is a form of waste prevention. However, 76% of respondents also said they were aware of things they can do, in addition to recycling, to reduce the environmental impact of the things they buy
Tessa Clarke, CEO and co-founder of Olio said: “We have more than enough ‘stuff’ in our local communities, which is why Olio is thrilled to support the Buy Nothing New campaign. We really hope this campaign will inspire millions more Brits to start sharing instead of shopping. It’s a great way to start the new year – by saving money, saving the planet, and supporting your local community.”