Recycling our waste can do wonders for the environment, as long as you’re doing it correctly. The UK has a target to recycle a minimum of 65% of our waste by 2035, a big increase from below 50 per cent where we are today.
All your waste needs to be sorted before it can be collected and processed properly, and some common mistakes are made, such as throwing away batteries into recycling incorrectly. Here, we explore what the top 10 recycling mistakes are:
Rinse off food containers
Almost all jars, bottles and carton boxes can be recycled., But if they have not been rinsed of leftover sauces, foods, or liquids, they can contaminate the recycling stream.
Remove tape and plastic
There has been a 200 per cent increase in online shopping during the pandemic, meaning more parcels to dispose of. The plastic tape around your cardboard parcels cannot be recycled, so always remove it from your packaging when sorting it for recycling.
Skip the bag
For safety reasons, plastic bags are generally not opened at recycling centres, so if your recycling is in a shopping bag or black bin bag, it will most likely go straight to landfill. Use only clear or council provided plastic bags for your recycling..
Only glass bottles and jars can be recycled. Glass from a broken mirror or window or drinking glass should not be put in your recycling bin. Wrap it in newspaper and place it in your general waste, or take it to your local tip.
Aerosols like deodorants and hairsprays can normally be recycled along with the cap. Just make sure they are completely empty. So too can makeup containers and shampoo bottles if they’re clean and empty. Make sure to check the guidelines of your local council as to what can and can’t be recycled.
Items you didn’t know can be recycled
Kitchen foil and trays, and plastic household cleaning product bottles can often be recycled, but they must be cleaned and rinsed out first. Again, please check the guidelines of your local council as to what can and can’t be recycled.
Some items just require a little extra effort
Most supermarkets offer recycling collections points for used batteries. You can also take your old electrical items, clothing and garden waste to household waste centres. Check their websites for details and opening times.
If you’re looking for help with waste separation at home then consider a dual or three compartment recycling bin for your kitchen, available from EKO Home.