Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 12:44 UK

Family starts no-waste challenge

Strauss family
Mr Strauss said they had practised making wise buying decisions

A Gloucestershire family is attempting to spend an entire year without throwing anything in the dustbin.

Richard and Rachelle Strauss, from Longhope in the Forest of Dean, are making the attempt as the county council tries to reduce landfill.

"It is going to be a tough challenge, but we are prepared for it," said Mrs Strauss.

The couple have set up a website called www.myzerowaste.com tracking their progress and giving waste-cutting tips.

Mr Strauss said: "We've been practising since the beginning of June, learning how to make wise decisions in our purchasing.

"When buying meat, we take along our own containers to the butcher's - we make sure they are clean because hygiene is very important.

"He's happy to weigh the meat straight into them and we can take it home and pop it straight in the fridge."

The couple's seven-year-old daughter, Verona, is said to be looking forward to the challenge too.

Landfill tax

"She has helped us to identify quite a few items like fruit gums, fruit pastilles, chocolate bars and tinned sweets that have recyclable packaging such as paper and tin foil," said Mr Strauss.

"In addition, we bake many items using fresh ingredients like biscuits and puddings that avoid convenience packaging."

The family's challenge is being staged ahead of Gloucestershire County Council's Zero Waste Week in the new year.

The authority is offering prizes to encourage people to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost as much waste as possible.

County Councillor Stan Waddington said: "By thinking more about what we buy at the supermarket and choosing products with little or no packaging, waste would be cut significantly."

The county council puts about 190,000 tonnes of household waste into landfills every year, resulting in a landfill tax bill of £6.1m this financial year.

The authority is hoping to remain within government targets for recycling and waste reduction to avoid massive fines.



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