REFUSE means trying to refuse waste coming into your household. In a series of 7 blogs, the 6 R’s of Sustainability (Review, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink your Residue) are explained to give practical information about what we as a consumer can do to reduce our ecological footprint by applying these practices in our daily life. 


REFUSE is the second R of Sustainability. In the world, we face a challenge with recycling. Recycling is expensive, resource intensive, and limited. We need to take steps to prevent creating waste prior to disposal and recycling. We always have the option of refusing goods and/or packaging. We make that decision when we buy, so it is important to think about REFUSE when you shop. Refusal allows us to cut our waste products from the top.

REFUSE, simply means say NO. Refusing materials is the primary way to lower our impact on the landfill. Here are some examples of refusing materials:

  • Refuse what you don’t need. For example, remove yourself from undesired magazines and door-to-door leaflets and folders.
  • Carry a refillable water bottle and hot drink cup, so you can refuse plastic bottles and single-use cups. 
  • Refuse plastic straws by bringing your own or just don’t use straws. What do you need them for anyway?
  • Refuse plastic bags in the supermarket, by using your won reusable ones. It’s easy to just always carry a reusable bag in your car or purse.
  • Refuse vegetables wrapped in plastic when you go shopping.
  • Refuse single products wrapped in plastic, while you can buy bigger quantities. You will reduce the amount of plastic waste.
  • When possible, refuse plastic packaging when you go shopping by choosing alternative reusable packaging like glass.
  • Refuse plastic packaging when you order take away by choosing another place to order food, or bring your own food box.
  • Bring your own Tupperware to restaurants when you expect to bring food home.

Your waste is your responsibility

REVIEW your current, REFUSE what you don’t need, REDUCE what you do need, REUSE by using reusables, RECYCLE what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse, and RETHINK your residue waste, so you can eliminate even more waste.

Next week’s blog will be about REDUCE. Join us in a journey to take responsibility for your own waste!