Date: 30th May 2022

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee official emblemTop tips for your Jubilee celebration 

Are you celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a street party, BBQ or garden party? Here are some tips to make your gathering as waste free as possible and a little more eco-friendly.

 

Decorations 

A Jubilee party wouldn’t be the same without red, white and blue decorations. Traditional bunting looks great and fabric is a more eco-friendly option than plastic. Try sewing your own from triangles of fabric. It doesn’t have to be bought from new; maybe you’ve got some old sheets or clothing that could be repurposed? Simpler still is using triangles of felt, or strands of rags or ribbons secured to some string.

Get children involved by making colourful paper chains. If you don’t have red, white and blue paper/card available, use scrap paper, old cards or magazines. A rainbow of colours will give your party a celebratory feel! For more ways to get children involved in creating themed decorations take a look at Artsy Crafty Mom

Tablewear

Tablecloths look nice but do you really need them? If they’re a must, use fabric tablecloths instead throw-away plastic ones. Neutral colours can be used time and time again. If you’re on a budget see what you can pick up second hand from charity shops or online marketplaces. Flat bedsheets or thin blankets/throws work just as well to cover a table.

Avoid unnecessary waste from single-use cutlery, cups, plates and bowls by asking people to bring their own washable tableware from home. They may even have a reusable picnic set to share with others. For large gatherings hiring is an option.

Food and drink

Write a plan of what you are going to prepare and stick to it! Buy only what you need to avoid over-catering. To reduce packaging of ready-made food, what could you prepare / bake yourself? You could save money by making it yourself too.

Cake tier of various cupcakes close-up

Consider space requirements in your fridge / freezer. On the day, place food out and open packets as needed. Cover food with tea towels and use bag clips / pegs to prevent it drying out or attracting flies. See the Food Standards Agency for relevant food safety advice. 

Ask guests to bring a dish or two in a washable container. This simplifies the food planning, spreads the cost and caters for a variety of tastes. Invite everyone to bring a covered container to take a share of leftovers home, preventing food being wasted.

Rather than buying multiple individual cans or bottles, serve drinks from larger containers or pour pre-mixed drinks from a jug. Do you have a small brewery in the local area? Buying a keg may work out more cost effective.  

Dish-up a variety of finger foods or let guests serve themselves from larger dishes to tailor portion sizes and reduce leftovers. The portion planner from Love Food Hate Waste and dinner party calculator by Save The Food will help you to work out how much food to prepare.

Waste

Encourage everyone to dispose of their waste responsibly. Provide separate boxes or bags for items that can be recycled. If your recycling capacity is limited, ask guests to take some home.

Person holding box of empty glass bottles

What to do with your party waste:

  • Aluminium foil and trays should be empty, clean and dry then squashed into a ball and put in your recycling bin.
  • Cardboard packaging should be flattened with excess tape removed and put in your recycling bin. If there is food residue on the cardboard it cannot be recycled and should go in your rubbish bin.
  • Drinks cartons (Tetra Pak) should be empty, clean and dry and taken to your nearest Recycling Centre.
  • Food and drink cans should be empty, clean and dry and put in your recycling bin.
  • Glass bottles and jars should be empty, clean and dry and taken to your nearest Recycling Centre or your local glass bank. Not sure where that is? Take a look at our locator tool
  • Paper plates are recyclable but not when they are covered in food residue. If they are clean, they can be put in your recycling bin.
  • Plastic bags and wrappers should go in your rubbish bin. Alternatively, larger supermarkets now accept a wide range of soft / flexible plastics. See Recycle Now's locator tool to find your nearest drop-off point.
  • Plastic bottles, tubs and food trays should be empty, clean and dry and put in your recycling bin.
  • Plastic cups could be washed and reused then, when they have reached the end of their life, cleaned and put in your recycling bin.
  • Plastic cutlery could be washed and reused. It is a hard plastic and should not be put in your recycling bin. If you can, take it to your nearest Recycling Centre on your next visit. Otherwise, it should be put in your rubbish bin.
  • Wooden, bamboo or other plant-based / biodegradable cutlery should be put in your rubbish bin. Some items may be compostable at home. Garden Organic has some helpful advice on this.