The study analysed several products used on a daily basis such as paper, wet wipes, food packaging, and bottle caps.

Besides carrying out a detailed analysis of the waste generated by these products, the study also proposes alternatives for better use. EcoConseil also takes stock of environmental labels in the field of paper in order to make purchasing easier.

Paper

Whether it is sheets of paper for the printer, toilet paper, or paper towels, these products are an integral part of many people's daily lives. In Luxembourg, each inhabitant consumes on average between 279 and 423 kilograms of paper per year. Despite the growing trend towards recycled paper worldwide (57% of products derive from this), every sixth tree felled will be used to produce paper.

© Olga MALTSEVA / AFP

The ecological footprint can vary enormously depending on the products, so it is important to choose the ones that pollute the least. Paperless alternatives exist, and people can choose to either reduce their consumption or go with recycled products. Labels such as Ecolabel, PEFC, or FSC can guide consumers in their purchases. Sheets of paper can be re-used to take notes and the study also advises to avoid printing a recipient's address on a label. In general, printing should be done sparingly, only if it is really necessary, and preferably on both sides.

As for coloured or scented papers, they contain many chemical elements that can end up in nature. They should be avoided, as should products marked with the MTW (Mixed Tropical Wood) logo, which indicates that the wood was sourced illegally from the rainforest.

Wet Wipes

These wipes contain a liquid or lotion to nourish the skin, disinfect, or cleanse a part of the body before disposal. It is best to use these products only when there is a real need.

© Anthony WALLACE / AFP

Residents should be careful not to flush wet wipes down the toilet as they are made of synthetic fibres that do not dissolve, resulting in possible blockages in drains, septic tanks, or sewage treatment plants.

Food packaging

Food packaging, which also includes animal feed packaging, amounts to 82 kg per capita per year. Given their importance in everyday life, it is often difficult to do without them, especially since they often have important information printed on them. If possible, these products should nevertheless be avoided.

© PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL / AFP

Bags and packages which contain a lot of air inside them should absolutely be avoided as they not only mislead the consumer but also contribute to the enormous amount of waste that is not really necessary. It is preferable to buy products either with packaging made of only one material or even without any packaging at all.

Lids and bottle caps

The caps on plastic bottles are among the top 5 waste products that end up on beaches and massively pollute the environment. They represent a real danger to humans and animals as they do not decompose for several hundred years. The more complicated the cap looks, the more difficult it will be to recycle it. It is therefore important to leave the cap on the used bottle so that they can be collected together before being recycled.

© SAID KHATIB / AFP

Most corks can be placed in the blue (or green) bag. Cork stoppers are 100% recyclable, while glass stoppers can be deposited (without the seal) in the glass container.