Gloucestershire’s successful Zero Waste Challenge Week makes it to prime time TV next week (Monday 2nd March) when it is featured on ITV1’s Tonight programme.

Zero Waste Week is part of the programme about plastics, packaging and recycling and features two Gloucestershire families.

Sarah Wood, 35, and her children, George, 7, Alfie, 5, and Rosie, 2, from Cheltenham are keen recyclers, but wanted to see if they could get their waste down even further. The Tonight team gave them a camera to record their waste over Christmas – a mass of plastic packaging and wrapping paper.

During Zero Waste Challenge Week they got their weekly waste down from 6kg a week to 3.5kg.

Sarah said: “We already recycle and compost everything we could so it was quite a challenge to get it down further. I made sure we didn’t use any foods with excessive packaging and bought all my fruit and vegetables loose. I also replaced kitchen roll with reusable cloths. The hardest thing was cutting down food waste by getting the kids to finish their meals! The children got quite into it and knew what sorts of food they could and couldn’t eat, but they were relieved when it was over!”

Cath Shawcross, 39, from Cheltenham, took part in the challenge with her husband, Steve, and daughter Elizabeth, 8. Cath is a member of Cheltenham Recycling Champions, a group of volunteers who provide information and help on recycling, hold meetings and collect materials to recycle. Cath hasn’t put her bin out for a month.

The family had already cut down their waste significantly before Zero Waste Challenge Week – to just 212 grams of plastic the week before and 153 grams during the week. Some of the changes they made include using rechargeable batteries, putting ash and vacuum cleaner contents in the compost, swapping washing powder for eco-friendly balls and scouring pads for recyclable stainless steel versions.

Cath said: “We are looking long-term, this wasn’t just about the week – it is a lifestyle change. I am doing all I can, now it is down to the supermarkets and manufacturers to research different ways of packaging.”

Cllr Stan Waddington, Cabinet Member, Environment, said: “Zero Waste Challenge Week made a really big impact in Gloucestershire with over a thousand families thinking about what they throw away and how they shop. It’s great news that it has been picked up by the Tonight programme. Hopefully this national exposure will get more people around Britain thinking about minimising their waste.”

What a Waste: Tonight will be shown at 8pm on Monday 2nd March on ITV1.