Lifting the Lid on Recycling: 10 Recycling Dos and Don’ts

Lifting the Lid on Recycling: 10 Recycling Dos and Don’ts

We all like to try and do our part when it comes to recycling, but the truth is, many of us don’t know what is recyclable and how to dispose of each item correctly. For National Recycling Week, 11-17 November, let’s lift the lid by sharing some top tips on recycling dos and don’ts.

1. Food needs to be scraped out of pizza boxes

While pizza boxes are recyclable, if any food is left in the box or if the box is overly soiled it risks contaminating the entire bin and being sent off to landfill instead.

2. Plastic straws should be placed in a bigger plastic container to be recycled

Most waste management sites won’t accept plastic straws, as they are too light and make it difficult for the machinery to sort through, which risks compromising the rest of the recyclable contents. As plastic straws can take up to 200 years to decompose, the best way to dispose of them is to put them inside a larger plastic container.

Related Post: 8 Free Mobile Apps To Help You Recycle

3. Not all plastics are created equal

Make sure to check the recycling logo number. All plastic drink bottles can go into recycling with lids removed, with plastic meat trays differing depending on your council area and plastic bags not recyclable. Yoghurt squeeze pouches are also not recyclable. Soft plastics (including bread, frozen food packs, fruit and veg bags/netting, toilet paper and bubble wrap) should be scrunched up and taken to your local supermarket to be recycled in the REDcycle bin – as soft plastics cause havoc to machinery at waste sites.

4. Don’t forget about your bathroom items

Empty and rinsed shampoo and conditioner bottles, as well as soap dispenser pumps can be recycled. Similarly, empty aerosol spray cans – such as deodorant and hairspray can too. While traditionally toothbrushes and dental floss aren’t recyclable, Caredent’s new eco-friendly range is aiming to reduce the use of plastic with its Floss in a Box, featuring a 100% recyclable container and Biobrush 100% cornstarch compostable and biodegradable handle adult toothbrushes.

5. What about envelopes and paper?

Paper envelopes with the clear plastic window can be recycled. Most paper and cardboard can be recycled, except wax paper i.e. baking paper and paper ice cream containers, while tissues cannot be recycled. 

6. Glass

Glass bottles and jars, rinsed and dried can be recycled. Some of the exceptions include glassware, broken glass, reading glasses and light bulbs.

7. Aluminium foil.

This is a resounding yes for recycling, including foil from yoghurt lids and foil trays used in the oven. They should be rinsed clean and rolled into a ball so they are not mistaken for paper.

Spell & the Gypsy ad Oct 2019

8. Fast food containers

Clean plastic take away food containers and paper bags are recyclable. While the fish-shaped soy sauce from your local sushi place can be recycled as long as they are included inside a larger plastic container – otherwise their small size will cause problems for the machinery at the recycling site.

9. Nappies are a big no

Disposable nappies can’t be recycled. Period.

Related Post: Sustainable Babies: Tips on Using Reusable Cloth Diapers From An Eco-Conscious Parent

10. Giving new life to batteries, mobile phones, ink cartridges and gas bottles

While they can’t be included as part of your regular curbside recycling, batteries, mobile phones, ink cartridges and gas bottles can be recycled at specific collection points.

This article was submitted by Inside Out PR.

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Feature image via Memobottle.

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