What can we do about waste

Highlights from our first Waste Campaign meeting

5th February 2018
event
report

Highlights from the first Waste Campaign meeting – brainstorming and narrowing down focus

We held our first waste campaign meeting last Tuesday at Green Fish. As waste is such a multifaceted and complex issue, and although ideally we would like to tackle all of the problems surrounding it, we soon realised that we are only able to focus on some of them.

To get an overview of potential activities for the campaign, we thought that the best approach was to brainstorm and put down all our ideas. As seen on the picture below, we came up with over 15 issues. To narrow down our focus further, we measured all of those ideas on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of two criteria: achievability and impact.

By considering achievability, we analysed how much power and resources we have to bring about desirable change and attain our goals. Thinking about impact in regard to carbon emissions reduction and diverting waste from landfills helped us to consider the outcomes of potential campaign activities and their contribution to solving the problems we face. Importantly, we recognised that both of these consideration points depended on the scale of our focus and activity, most often being either local or national.

As a result we were able to pick six potential issues with achievable aims and satisfying outcomes/impact we could campaign on:

  • Public engagement and education – engaging with people at stalls, in public spaces and schools and on social media to explain and discuss the problems surrounding waste.
  • Encouraging food retailers to reduce food waste by reconsidering the best before/use by dates of their products to divert perfectly edible food from landfills and deliver it to people in need.
  • Supporting national campaigns on bottle/can deposit schemes that would encourage the circulation of valuable resources and their diversion from landfills and natural environment.
  • Engaging with local food take-away businesses to encourage them to give up non-recyclable polystyrene take-away trays and plastic cutlery and instead adopt sustainable recyclable/compostable/edible alternatives.
  • Raising awareness of unsustainability of fast fashion and encouraging and promoting repair, swap, share and second-hand alternatives.
  • Engaging with Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority to influence their waste management and find ways on how to work together.

The aim of the next waste campaign meeting in July will be to pick two or three of those ideas and start discussing how we will go about campaigning on those issues.

However, if you have any other ideas you could think of, please bring them to the meeting in July!