Back to One Planet Living as a Community

Zero Waste

Zero Waste is a set of principles focused on preventing waste, with the goal of ending the 26 million tonnes of rubbish the UK produces annually. To achieve this, the following fundamentals are employed when using goods or materials: ‘Refuse’ ‘Reduce’ ‘Reuse’ ‘Recycle’ and ‘Rot.

How to make a change in your community

  • Implement refill points for resuable water bottles. Either install new refill points for public use, or ask businesses and buildings which already have the facilities to promote it, for exmaple using the ‘Refill app’.
  • Offer clear guidance on local recycling restrictions, what can and can’t be reycled locally.
  • Use Terracycle’s online map to determine what recycling points already exist in the local area, and highlight potential gaps, which could be filled by setting up new drop-off locations with their recycling schemes.
  • Introduce a community composting network, linking people who create compostable food waste, and groups with the infrastructure to compost it (poeple with gardens, community gardens, allotment groups).
  • Set up a clothes donation point to collect second-hand clothes for local charity shops.
  • Identify areas with high littering rates, and introduce proper waste management systems there, including separate recycling and general waste receptacles.
  • Promote a ‘circular economy’ where no materials go to waste – for example through sharing schemes, second-hand shops, composting schemes etc.
  • Campaign against fly-tipping. Identify areas where fly tipping occurs, and plant flowerbeds in the area as this sometimes deters would be fly-tippers.
  • Provide priority market pitches for sustainable and plastic free providers at arts and craft and farmers markets in your area.

Example Actions

  • Host a sustainable craft market, with recycled products
  • Set up a community network composting system
  • Promote local charities for accepting second-hand goods

Useful Links

Terracycle have a range of different recycling schemes for materials which generally can’t be recycled at home, and list local drop-off points via their map, find out what’s missing in your area and fill the gap.

Suggested Tools

Bioregional offer Sustainability Consulting for Local Authorities.

Net Zero Navigator tool for identifying and building plans to reach net-zero in UK local authority areas. 

Join the Climate Emergency Network on Knowledge Hub, for sharing information between local authorities 

Local Government Association – Climate change hub, includes tools such as Greenhouse Gas Accounting tool for identifying baselines.

Support local businesses to pledge to reducing their environmental impact with the West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge. 

Ashden Sustainability plan Toolkit for Councils. 


The National Audit Office Report into Local Government and Net Zero identified £1.2 billion in specific grant funding available in 2020-2021 for local authorities to act on climate change, and notes this is a sixteen-fold increase on the previous year.

Download an Action Plan so you can set your own goals!

We use cookies. By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies, Find out more