Reduce, reuse and recycle is the plea from Lancashire County Council as people prepare to enjoy the sunny bank holiday weekend.
Holidays can mean tonnes of extra waste being produced as residents depart from routine and grab food on the go while enjoying the sunshine, or stock up on extras to entertain at home.
But it also means there are plenty of opportunities to be kinder to the environment by recycling everything you can and avoid generating unnecessary waste while out and about or hosting family and friends.
Top tips include:
• Avoid using single-use plastic cutlery and tableware for parties, picnics and BBQs. Use what you've already got, or consider investing in reusable plastic tableware if you're concerned about breakages.
• Reduce food waste by only buying and cooking what you need. For example, if holding a BBQ, buy equal numbers of burgers and buns. You could reduce waste even more by not buying meat packed in plastic trays.
• Take care during the cooking process to make sure none is wasted. Pre-cooking items before placing them on the barbecue for a final smoky flavour is safer and may lead to less wasted food due to items ending up burned on the outside and frozen in the middle.
• If camping or picnicking, take several rubbish sacks so you can separate recyclables and put them in the right bins when you get back home. This is better than mixing everything together and separating later as recyclable items have less value if contaminated with food.
• Keep up your usual recycling habits. Give recyclables a quick rinse out, remove labels and remove lids from metal and plastic items – they can be recycled too but are often made from different types of metal/plastic and can't be recycled together.
• Pizza boxes can be recycled, even if they are a bit greasy – but all visible traces of food must be removed first. Please scrape any melted cheese, tomato and toppings completely off before placing in the recycle bin.
County Coun. Charlie Edwards, lead member for health and adult services, said: "We've become a lot better at recycling in recent years, but there's still lots of room for improvement and we could increase Lancashire's recycling rate by 16% if everyone always put the right thing in the right bin.
"The bank holiday is a great opportunity to unwind and take a break from routine, but this doesn't mean we should forget our usual good recycling habits.
"Please think about what you throw away, and what you buy, as with a little bit of planning we can all recycle more and reduce the amount of waste we produce – it all adds up and makes a real difference."
To find more recycling tips visit: www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/recycle-for-lancashire.