Image caption, Somerset Waste Partnership is urging people to think before they buy any Black Friday deals

Kerbside cardboard recycling volumes are up 35% since before the pandemic, a waste collection company has said.

Somerset Waste Partnership is now urging people to ‘think before they click’ as millions of pounds are spent online on Black Friday.

Chief executive Mickey Green said the rise is down to online companies putting “a box, in a box, in a box”.

It comes as a number of councils have said they will not collect any wrapping paper for recycling this Christmas.

That is because it often contains glitter or plastic.

Image caption, Chief executive of Somerset Waste Partnership Mickey Green is urging people to shop local

Mr Green said: “We recycle nearly everything, over 98% in the UK, but it would be better if none of that existed in the first place and that’s down to the online companies that put a box in a box in a box.

“As consumers we can all vote with our pound and buy things with less packaging…so shop local, buy experiences, support the local high street.”

Ben Wilband, from the Suez Evercreech depot near Shepton Mallet, added: “There is a lot more manual handling taken on with the additional cardboard – which means more trips going back to the households, more trips going back to the yard and just generally puts a bit of a strain on our resources.

“It’s already been a very difficult year and for a long time we have been waiting for that cardboard to drop off, especially as people have been going back to work, but cardboard is still our busiest commodity, making a massive difference on our trucks.”

Image caption, Kerbside cardboard recycling volumes are up 35% in Somerset since before the pandemic

Bristol and North Somerset Councils have said they will not be collecting any wrapping paper for recycling this Christmas, after Bath and North East Somerset Council stopped last year.

North Somerset Council has suggested people use brown paper, newspaper or the traditional Japanese cloth-folding technique known as furoshiki.

Somerset and Wiltshire Council’s said they will continue to collect paper which passes the “scrunch test”, meaning it stays balled up and does not have any glitter, foil or shiny bits.

Image source, Chris Bahn / Bristol City Council

Image caption, Cllr Nicola Beech (far left) said Bristol is on a mission to reduce the amount of waste it produces as a city

In Bristol, a pop-up Black Friday shop has also been launched to reduce electrical waste by handing out refurbished items that other people have donated.

#Electric Avenue, based in the Galleries shopping centre, is giving away the items for free, which have been cleaned, repaired and safety checked, in the hope it will inspire people to consider second hand.

The pilot project is being run by environmental charity Hubbub and Bristol Waste Company and funded by Ecosurety.

Gavin Ellis, co-founder of Hubbub said: “Whilst it’s easy to be lured by Black Friday deals, our pop-up shop aims to challenge the need to buy brand new and shines a spotlight on the value of electrical items that are often disposed of when they’re no longer needed.”

Image source, Chris Bahn / Bristol City Council

Image caption, Pre-loved TVs, lamps, keyboards, blenders and slow cookers are some of the items up for grabs in a new #ElectricAvenue pop-up store

Councillor Nicola Beech, cabinet member with responsibility for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy at Bristol City Council, added: “Together, in the past year, we’ve prevented 175,000 tonnes of waste going into landfill, with more than 84,000 tonnes of waste being recycled or composted.

“Electric Avenue is a great way to reduce electrical waste and increase digital access for those who need it, including families and schools.”

It will be open for 10 days and customers are also encouraged to drop off a working electrical item that they no longer want.

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