Recycling can be confusing and overwhelming. Making a start, no matter how small, can really help the environment, especially in the long run. Hopefully ‘Plastics Week’ has given you an insight into ways you can help to reduce the amount of plastics consumed, with easy swaps and by recycling what we do use.
Here are some quick and easy tips for recycling (focusing on plastics in particular):
- A simple one to remember – lids on, films off
- Plastic film cannot be recycled – it gets tangled up in the recycling machinery and stops it from working. This is also the same for many forms of ‘squidgy’ plastic.
- As an easy rule, any squidgy plastic packaging, for example, bread bags/fruit and vegetable wrappers/film lids/cling film/cellophane/sellotape cannot be recycled
- Peel off film lids and put them into the normal rubbish bin (*unless you collect soft plastics to take to supermarket specific bins)
- Plastic lids can be recycled but make sure you put them back on – otherwise they are so small that they will slip through the machinery and cause havoc.
- Hard plastics like trays, tubs, plastic bottles can be usually be recycled
- Rinse and leave to dry before recycling – you don’t need to scrub and sterilise them but items do need to be free from contaminants such as left over food before going into the recycling bin
- Flatten boxes or cartons to save space
- Rinse and recycle tins
Things you may not think that can be recycled:
- Envelopes with plastic windows
- Clean tin foil
Items that can’t usually be recycled:
- Pringles tubs
- Cotton pads
- Post it notes
- Pouches, e.g. pet food/rice
- Plastic bags cannot be recycled (unless from a supermarket collection centre)
Everyone needs a starting point! Hopefully these tips will help with your day to day recycling.