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Aiming for a Waste Free Lunch challenge

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Tuesday 20 November 2012

Public Services has set a challenge for islanders to reduce waste produced at lunchtime.

The Department has organised a Waste Free Lunch challenge for Wednesday 21 November, and a number of local companies have already signed up to promote the initiative to staff.

The challenge is to prepare their lunch so that as little food and packaging waste is left as possible. Not only will this help reduce the amount of waste produced, it can save money too.

Emma Simpson, Waste Prevention and Recycling Officer said the initiative aims to highlight how a few simple changes will make a difference.

'With just a bit of thought and planning, it's easy to cut down on lunchbox waste. Just going through that thought process is a good way to get people thinking more generally about what they buy and what waste they produce.'

'For example buying loose fruit and vegetables involves less packaging, and reusing an old plastic container for a lunchbox also reduces waste. And the less we waste, the less it costs.'

Mrs Simpson said if people weren't keen on making their own lunch, they can still take part.

'If you want the convenience of a shop bought sandwich, for instance, we can still use our purchasing power to choose those that have less packaging. Although the Waste Free Lunch initiative is on 21 November, we hope it will lead some people to adopt this as part of their everyday routine.'

Five local organisations are signed up to promote the initiative to staff. They include Public Services and Guernsey Water, and Sir Charles Frossard House. Specsavers and Investec Guernsey have also welcomed the opportunity to participate. All have strong corporate and social responsibility credentials with a commitment to environmental issues.

Public Services Minister, Deputy Paul Luxon, said eliminating waste before it's created is one of the best ways to reduce the amount of rubbish sent to Mont Cuet landfill site.

'We can all do our bit, and the lunchbox is a great place to start. I know Public Services' staff will all want to do what they can to support the Waste Free Lunch day, and we're hoping lots of others will as well.'

ENDS

Note to editors:

Top tips on creating a waste-free lunch:

1. Buy larger sizes of drinks and fruit juice and decant into a re-usable flask or bottle.

2. Avoid using cling film or plastic bags to wrap sandwiches. You can re-use an empty bread bag or a re-usable lunchbox instead, whether it's a purpose made one or an old ice cream tub.

3. Buy treats (cakes, biscuits, crisps) in bigger packs and then put individual portions into re-usable plastic containers.

4. Fresh fruit often has its own ready-made packaging - which can be taken home and composted.

5. Use metal cutlery instead of disposable plastic cutlery.

6. Whilst preparing the evening meal, think about what could be used for lunch the following day. Cook some extra chicken for a sandwich filling or pasta/rice for a salad.

Things to avoid in a Waste Free Lunch, which involve packaging that cannot be recycled and ends up in landfill:-

· Clingfilm and plastic food bags.

· Individually wrapped items biscuits, chocolate, cheese etc.

· Plastic cutlery.

Contact information:

Public Services Department:
Emma Simpson, Waste Prevention & Recycling Officer
Tel: 01481 234684
Email: emma.simpson@gov.gg

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