A MONTH-long challenge to recycle more and reduce waste has been taken up four city councillors.

The ‘Let’s Waste Less Challenge’ by Worcester City Council, which began in June and ends on August 19, follows Joy Squires, Tracey Biggs, Andy Stafford and Tom Collins as they look to recycle, compost, reuse and cut back on plastics.

Cllr Joy Squires said the challenge was a chance to start composting in her garden and whilst she has always recycled the ‘obvious’ things, she wanted to do more.

She said: “Recycling existing materials is a far better use of the planet’s resources rather than plundering new material – so when shopping I’ve been looking out for products which are made from or packaged in recycled material.

“Like Tracey, I’ve been avoiding buying fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic. And for the first time ever, I’ve had a jam making session. We have tons of raspberries in the garden and we won’t be able to eat them all fresh, so this was a really good way of making them go further.”

Cllr Tracey Biggs started buying fruit and vegetables from the market and bought items with less plastic packaging. She said the challenge had made planning ahead for food shopping essential.

She said: “I threw out a whole punnet of strawberries which was sitting in the fridge and never got round to eating. They key is forward planning – working out how much you’re likely to be eating in that week, rather than buying lots on impulse.”

Cllr Andy Stafford said he already recycled well and had two dogs to help get rid of waste. He wanted the challenge to make him do things better but also use make him use less plastic.

He said: “I have already decided to stop buying plastic bottles containing sparkling water and soda water to be replaced by ordinary tap water. This alone will account for half a dozen or more large plastic bottles a week.

Cllr Tom Collins reviewed what he threw away and where he threw it when taking up the challenge, an act that made him realise how much food he throws away in the black bin.

To reduce waste, Cllr Collins attempted to go food shopping completely plastic-free and obtained a composter which then had to be replaced by a bigger composter.

To follow the challenge visit wastereductionchallenge.home.blog