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Karen Cannard calls in to check waste

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It is not every day the Bury Free Press office welcomes in waste campaigner Karen Cannard to go through the office bins, but it was for a very important week.

Zero Waste Week, from September 2-6, started in 2008 after Karen challenged founder Rachelle Strauss to take on her own week, and it has now grown nationally to hundreds of thousands of people attempting to reduce their waste – and Karen wants to see more businesses sign up.

Karen said: “I love Zero Waste Week. It is a great way and time for anybody, including employees and employers, to start thinking about how to reduce their waste and to think more about what they are putting in their bins.”

Karen Cannard with the coffee shop cups she found in the Bury Free Press bins Picture Mark Westley
Karen Cannard with the coffee shop cups she found in the Bury Free Press bins Picture Mark Westley

This year’s theme is climate change and the impact of waste has on the climate, with food packaging that people buy and bring into work a big problem.

Karen said: “People do recycle more at home than they do at work and get confused about plastic recycling mostly and I can see why, but you can check on
www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk to find out what can be recycled.

“When I first started I became very conscious about what I could buy without packaging and what different products I could switch over to – it began to make me look at what I was buying differently when I was picking items up from the shelves and hopefully this will be the first step for others to do the same.”

By signing up, the Zero Waste team will send daily emails throughout the week to help individuals, businesses, organisations, schools, universities and community groups take up the challenge.

While going through the Bury Free Press office bins Karen found coffee shop cups, unwashed plastic food tubs as well as plastic food tubs with film lids and cans in the general waste bin.

Karen said: These are easy fixes –buy a reusable cup for the coffee shop, peel off the film lid of those tubs and wash the tub out as that can be recycled.

“Also making new cans takes energy – it takes about 92-95 per cent less energy to make a can from recycled material than to make a whole new can, these things add up.”

To find out more about Zero Waste Week and get involved, go to