A few useful tips:
Don’t worry so much about removing labels and lids from glass jars and bottles. In the recycling process, the items are re-washed. Removing caps and lids from plastic containers is more important because they are made from different plastic materials.
Rinse out your containers before they go in the recycling bin otherwise they may not be accepted for recycling.
Glass can easily be recycled over and over again but it’s always better to re-use than recycle, so if you can repurpose your glass containers, choose to do this before you choose to recycle.
Food waste can be recycled too, even bones and egg shells, it can be converted into compost or electricity. Food waste recycling services are being rolled out across more and more of the UK. Ask your council if they recycle food waste and which food to include.
Aerosols are widely recyclable but toothpaste tubes are much harder (except for the cap!). Switch to pump action toothpaste tubes as an alternative, they are made from a different type of plastic and are easier to recycle.
And here are a few surprises that you can recycle at your local recycling centre: old curtains, used underwear, batteries, light bulbs, plastic toys and TVs!
For your supermarket products, you can check them on Giki to see if they get the Better Packaging badge – which means less plastic, less rubbish and more recycling.
What you can’t recycle
Which of these common items can you cut back on or switch to recyclable alternatives?
- liquid soap pumps – rinse the bottle and recycle this. Buy refills where possible and reuse the pumps
- black bin bags and cling film– but you can buy biodegradable ones now
- greasy pizza boxes – but we’re all allowed a treat every now and again
- Baby wipes, cosmetic wipes, bathroom cleaning wipes and moist toilet tissues (wet wipes do not break down and represent a hefty proportion of non-biodegradable waste in landfills)
Remember, reduce, re-use, recycle – it really does count!