Zero-waste warriors: meet the people whose household rubbish fits in a jam jar

From making their own toothpaste to foraging locally for edible plants, more and more people are learning to cut the amount of rubbish they throw out. Here’s how they do it

By Nicola Cutcher. Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd.

Ander Zabala, recycling manager for Hackney council, London

Through my work, I have seen the huge amount of waste and recycling that we produce. Watching an incinerator for half an hour shocked me and made me want to take action. I was standing on a balcony wearing a full body suit and goggles watching gigantic grabbers emptying waste from trucks. The scale is so shocking and you realise how tiny we are compared to the amount of waste we create. I don’t want to contribute to that wastefulness and it has made me want to take action. …

Cate Cody, jazz singer and Green councillor, Tewkesbury

We haven’t put our waste bin out for collection for more than three years, not since January 2017. My partner and I have one small metal bin in the kitchen and that’s the only bin in the house. There’s hardly anything in it, just occasional bits of non-recyclable plastic packaging, usually from gifts from well-meaning people. …

Claudi Williams, workshop manager for the Beeswax Wrap Co, Stroud

G2 - Claudi Williams at home near Stroud.
 G2 – Claudi Williams at home near Stroud. Photograph: Sam Frost/The Guardian

I was frustrated by the amount of plastic in my life, so in 2016 I decided to try not buying any for a year. It was a steep learning curve for me, my husband and our two sons but, after a few months, our waste went down to almost nothing. It has become our new normal. …

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