Recycling at Home – tips for recycling during Covid-19 pandemic

With millions of people staying home during the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase of packaging in people’s homes is stacking up. We have put together some helpful tips to ensure we all continue to reuse and recycle our packaging.

During these unprecedented times, millions of people are being told to stay home, causing a spike in online shopping. In fact, e-commerce sales have increased by 74% in March 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to ACI, (Applied Communications Inc.) a leading worldwide payment system company. 

Extra packaging in our homes puts pressure on our recycling systems, but it’s important to keep recycling in these challenging times. Therefore, we have put together some handy tips for ways you can reuse cardboard packaging in your home, create more storage for recycling materials, and reduce food waste.  

Ways to reuse your cardboard

Before you organise your materials ready for recycling, check to see if there is anything you can reuse, before recycling them.

Crafts for the family

Cardboard is a versatile material for crafts at home, especially if you have children to entertain. Upcycle toilet roll tubes into pencil holders for your children’s colouring in, or keep them occupied by creating binoculars, megaphones or even fun little toy characters to play with.

Leftover cardboard lends itself to a whole variety of craft projects. Create a cat house if your pet wants to do a bit of social distancing or build your own cardboard aquarium for an at-home alternative to a day at the zoo.

See how we made a cat toy out of cardboard toilet roll tubes below:

If you’re struggling to decide on things to keep you occupied during lockdown, create a decision dice and draw on suggestions for fun activities for the family, what kind of film you should watch, or even who you should video call next!

Check out our crafty video for a step-by-step guide on how to create these cardboard crafts:

Crafts for your home office

If you, like many others, are working from home during this time, then there are many ways you can spruce up your office space with reusing leftover cardboard.

For a hands-free conference call, use cardboard cut-outs to create a phone holder. Or, organise your stationary drawer so you’re never stuck searching for a pen again with this handy drawer separator.

Finding more storage for your recycling

During this unprecedented time, you might find that the number of recycling collections your local authority offers has changed or your local recycling centre is closed. In addition, the increase of all those online orders mean there is a lot more packaging to tackle. This doesn’t have to mean your recycling bins start overflowing. Use these space-saving tips to reduce any overflow of packaging materials in your homes.

Space-saving tips for cardboard recycling

Be sure to flatten any cardboard boxes so that you can easily stack them and find a dry place for you to store them in case they start to build up. Keeping paper and card dry is important, as damp or wet materials are much more difficult to recycle. This might be in your usual recycling spot, or you might consider storing them in your garage, utility cupboard, or even on top of your wardrobe if you are low on space.

Space-saving tips for plastic recycling

For plastic bottles or any containers with air inside, be sure to squash them so they are as compact as possible. You should also be sure to clean any plastic or glass from food or liquid residues first so that they are as clean as possible while in your home.

If you find yourself with a bag full of bags for life, there is an easy way to save space by folding them into these compact triangles. Be sure to pop one in your everyday bag or coat pocket so that you don’t forget it next time you go shopping.

How to reduce your food waste

If your food waste collections are reduced, there are couple of ways you can reduce the amount of leftovers that gather in your bin.

First of all, be sure to use all the food you have in the fridge. You can cook in large batches and freeze any food you don’t eat. This will reduce the amount of waste you produce, as well as the amount of times you have to go to the shops.

If you have a garden, now is the perfect time to start your own compost heap. This is a great way to reuse any vegetable food scraps, coffee granules and even newspaper trimmings. If you live in a flat, invest in an at-home compost bin for an easy way to recuse and reuse your food waste.

For any queries about your recycling, always check with your local authorities first, and be sure to give your refuse collectors a smile and a wave from the window as they continue to work hard as key workers.

If you have any ideas for reducing waste in the home and reusing your recycling, let us know on our social media channels, and share your at-home crafts with us too!