Barratt Developments reveal top tips for homeowners to be more sustainable (2).jpg

UK households throw away 100 billion pieces of plastic every year: Here are 5 easy steps to reduce plastic waste in your home

Jim Moore
Authored by Jim Moore
Posted: Monday, December 4, 2023 - 12:50

With three quarters (75%) of UK adults admitting they are either very or somewhat worried about the impact of climate change, Barratt Developments Yorkshire West is taking action by providing homeowners with some top tips to reduce their household plastic waste. 

As a committed sustainable Homebuilder, Barratt Developments has partnered with Reconomy, a global circular economy expert, to educate homeowners on how they can reduce their plastic waste at home.

The activity comes as part of a wider approach to sustainability that has seen Barratt Developments become the first major Homebuilder to set science-based emission reduction targets, as well as signing the UN Global Compact in line with our commitment to Ten Principles for Corporate Responsibility. 

Together with Reconomy, Barratt Developments has provided clear, actionable steps that families can take at home to reduce their plastic waste and help to protect our planet. 

  1. Assess your usage

Begin by examining your household's plastic consumption patterns, taking inventory of the types and quantities of plastic items you regularly discard. This step will help you identify areas where you can make the most substantial impact on reducing waste, and consider which single-use plastics could be replaced with reusable alternatives.

  1. Understand the good from the bad

Plastic serves a valuable purpose, when used appropriately. For instance, plastic packaging effectively preserves the freshness of foods and reduces the environmental cost of transportation due to its lightweight nature. It's essential to recognise these benefits and make informed choices about when to use plastic and when alternatives are more suitable.

  1. Make sensible switches

The key to reducing plastic waste is transitioning from single-use disposables to reusable options whenever possible. Embrace the three R's: reduce, reuse, recycle. Aim to minimise your reliance on disposable plastics and opt for sustainable alternatives instead by shopping in plastic free aisles and whole food suppliers. Keep in mind that as of October 2023, there is a ban on single-use plastics.

  1. Think sustainably while shopping

To avoid impulsive single-use plastic purchases whilst on the go, create a checklist of reusable items to bring with you, such as water bottles, coffee cups, Tupperware containers and cutlery. Prioritise planning ahead and carrying these essentials to make the right choices.

  1. Be an ambassador for the environment 

Reduce plastic waste collectively within your household by reinforcing sustainable behaviours. Encourage your family members to join you in making eco-conscious choices and discourage the use of harmful plastics. Together, we can work towards eliminating detrimental plastics from our daily routines.

These helpful top tips come as part of the Homebuilders continued dedication to sustainability. In 2023, the Yorkshire West division created 7.4 hectares of green space, equivalent to 11 football pitches, to support local wildlife and saw a 10% increase in biodiversity. As an industry which relies on timber, the Homebuilder is proud to say 99.8% is sustainably sourced. But the ultimate result can be seen in consumer pockets, with Barratt Developments helping homeowners save up to £2,200 on their energy bills each year.

Its pioneering approach to biodiversity comes, in part, from innovation and research for carbon zero homes. The Zed House, a Barratt concept home constructed at the University of Salford, has laid the foundations for a wider biodiversity plan featuring a garden designed using recycled materials, locally sourced native and non-invasive plants, bat bricks and swift nesting bricks, bird feeders, native hedgerows, permeable paving and smart water collection.

Gavin Birch, Managing Director at Barratt Developments Yorkshire West, commented: “Now that we have achieved a number of fantastic sustainability milestones, we now want to look to help others make equally positive steps. By implementing these tips that we have detailed, you can significantly reduce your plastic waste and make a positive impact on the environment. In Yorkshire, we are so lucky to have such beautiful natural surroundings and it is critical that we protect this, our communities, and our planet.”

Diane Crowe, Head of Sustainability at Reconomy, said: “Reconomy’s purpose is to enable the circular economy by delivering innovative solutions for businesses and individuals to conserve our finite resources. By teaming up with Barratt Developments, one of the UK’s leading housebuilders, we are aiming to help people reduce their plastic waste to protect our environment. Collaboration between businesses and with households is critical to reaching our combined potential for positive change and we are excited to see these tips in action.”