THE average resident in the district produced more waste last year than ever before, figures suggest.

An environmental charity is urging people to try and reduce their packaging waste ahead of Christmas, after figures showed a rise in the amount of household rubbish generated nationally in the first year of the pandemic.

Maldon District Council collected an average of 408kg of household waste per person from homes in the area in 2020/21, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs data shows.

This is the equivalent of around 102 family-sized turkeys each.

It was up from 355.8kg the year before, and the most waste per person since comparable records began in 2008-09.

But residents were less wasteful than the average person across England last year – 420.6kg of household waste was collected per person nationally on average.

Read more: Christmas and New Year waste collection dates in Maldon

Around 58 per cent of household waste in Maldon was sent for reuse, recycling or composting in 2020-21 – down from 59 per cent in 2019-20.

Greenpeace said the considerable rise in national household waste is worrying, and figures likely underestimate the total volume of plastic thrown away.

Nina Schrank, senior campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: "At Christmas time we become even more aware of our rubbish as we pile up packaging and wrapping when we're preparing food and opening presents.

"Seeing mountains of waste, especially masses of plastic, makes us feel very aware of the environmental impacts of our purchases."

Resources and Waste Minister Jo Churchill said local authorities faced unprecedented challenges to keep rubbish collections running during the pandemic She added: “Recycling and reusing more of our waste is key to helping us protect the environment for future generations.

“Despite a highly challenging year, less than 8 per cent of local authority collected waste went to landfill, while food waste recycling from households increased by 12 per cent."