An increasing amount of cardboard is being collected for recycling in Somerset every January.

According to the council's recent statistics, as online shopping continues to grow, the amount of cardboard in recycling has consistently increased in recent years.

Each January sees as much as a 44 per cent rise in collection, equating to an additional 682 tonnes of cardboard.

The rise not only adds to waste to be recycled, but also fills the trucks quicker, requiring additional trips to the depot and consequently increasing the overall carbon footprint.

Speaking on the issue, Cllr Dixie Darch, executive lead member for Environment and Climate Change said: "Recycling is great and helps to protect the environment, but avoiding waste – such as additional packaging - is even better.

"If we think local we can all help to reduce the amount of waste we produce."

Somerset County Gazette: Somerset recycles an additional 682 tonnes of cardboard each January

To combat the rise, Somerset Council is suggesting community members consider gifts that don’t require boxes such as vouchers, subscriptions, or memberships.

They also encourage shopping on the High Street and supporting local retailers who tend to use less packaging.

Separating recycling at the kerb is key to ensuring efficient recycling processes and minimizing waste.

Last year, 97 per cent of Somerset’s recycling remained in the UK due to kerbside sorting, contributing to both environmentally friendly and locally beneficial practices.