Written by Melanie Fryer, a FoodFutures working group member and a keen recycler.

Heard of the term Earth Overshoot Day? Unfortunately, it is not a day to celebrate. It is the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what earth can regenerate in that year.

This year it fell on July 29th

You may be thinking, what can I do? Fortunately, there are many things we can do as individuals to #MoveTheDate, recycling being one of them.

Terracycle’s (an American organisation) worldwide current figures say; 202,631,111 people are recycling and 7,762,174,415 waste is recycled.

Although many of us recycle as much as possible, there are still many items that cannot go through the household waste system. Recycling has to be accessible for everyone to get on board and make a difference! So, what’s out there locally?

The Bay area recycling scheme (@bayarearecycle) is a group of passionate volunteer collectors. (You can use their map to find your local recycling drop off points). Many items can be recycled such as bread bags, coffee capsules, crisp packets and non-food items such as laundry. Why not join together with your neighbours and collect batches of recycling to drop off?

Precious Plastics Lancaster is a local company that transforms recycled plastic for its online brand Relic into new objects such as plant pots, coasters and soap dishes. Want to see how you can get involved? Visit their website: www.preciousplasticlancaster.co.uk

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to deal with the issues around plastic waste. Until the system changes, our government needs to invest in proper recycling facilities so we can recycle our own waste and not dump it on other countries to deal with.

www.overshootday.org gives 100 Days of Possibility to #MoveTheDate. Science tells us the need is URGENT. We must innovate to get rid of materials, de-carbonise, make use of waste streams and use the planet sensibly.

Will you join us in trying to live in balance with the Earth?

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