In the natural order of things, stuff gets used and thrown away daily. But how much waste do we create on a daily basis? We followed some of our Lovin Malta team members to see how much waste they throw out in one work day.
In a day, Steff threw away two plastic bottles, a plastic salad box, a chocolate wrapper, some salad leftovers, the last bit of a slice of bread and tea bags. Lots of tea bags, actually.
Rach had a sick day when she was tracking her waste, so in her basket you’ll find a carton medicine box, used tissues, sweet wrappers and used teabags.
Kira wasn’t sick. And because she was working, her bin consisted of a yoghurt tub, a wafer and a breakfast bar packet, papers, tissues, the carton box her lunch came in, a teabag packet and a vitamin packet.
Sandie made a stir fry for lunch and ate the leftovers for dinner, which generated most of her waste. Her toilet paper roll happened to finish, and the newspaper will be thrown away eventually.
And finally, I threw away banana, orange and carrot peels, a food snack wrapper, a plastic salad box, a plastic fork, a sweetcorn can and some used sticky notes.
How much are we all wasting?
Now that we’ve given you an idea of what average (if you can call us that) people waste in a day at work, how about the entire nation?
EU stats have only published data on municipal waste trends up to 2016, and we’ll be using this data to give an overview on what we waste.
Unfortunately, the Maltese are among the biggest waste generators in the EU. We threw out about 620kg per person in 2015, and this rose to 642kg per person in 2016. That’s the weight of a big buffalo per person.
This also results in 10,000m squared of land to waste, and that’s two football pitches each year to dump our waste, when we could be using it for something else.
Though we still have a long way to go, we are making small incremental changes to our lifestyles. According to the the National Statistics Office (NSO) in 2016, paper and cardboard were mostly recycled, with metal materials were the runner-ups.
So yay to us for recycling more, but we’re also using more.
These NSO statistics show that we doubled our generation and the use of plastic from 2015 and 2016. So if we’re going to be producing more plastic, we’ve got to make sure that we recycle what we use.
So here’s an idea of what your average Lovin Malta gal wastes, which is most likely quite similar to what you’re dumping into the trash.
Let’s make 2019 the cleanest year in Malta by making this year all about zero waste. Let’s reduce and reuse before turning it to waste. My 2019 resolution has just become to generate as little as possible waste during a work day.