Our Guide to Recycling 

Written by Ollie Wilkinson

when you can't reuse, recycle

What’s the importance of recycling? 

We recommend using reusable packaging wherever possible to reduce waste. However, recycling is important because it could prevent your used packaging from going to landfill or incineration. However, the UK’s recycling processes and infrastructures are far from perfect. 

What are the drawbacks of recycling?

 Not all recyclable packaging is created equal. And while glass can be recycled infinitely, plastic loses quality every time it is recycled, so it’s generally downcycled into something else until it eventually ends up in landfill.  

How to find your council recycling rules? 

Council rules vary across the country, which can add to the confusion over what you can and can’t put in your wheelie bins. To find the rules for your area, visit GOV.UK and enter your postcode. Or use the Scrapapp to become a recycling hero. 

Recycling labelling and rules 

These types of packaging can generally be recycled in your council wheelie bin. However, it’s best to check your local authority rules. 

  • Recycle: This type of packaging is recycled by at least 75% of local authorities. You can check what each plastic label means with this handy guide
Recycling symbols and what they mean
  • Rinse and recycle: This type of packaging is recyclable, but only after you’ve removed any food residue. 

Soft plastics, such as plastic bags and food wrapping, need to be taken to larger recycling points, which are popping up at some local supermarkets.  

Recycling hacks 

Our recycling infrastructure is far from perfect. But to ensure your packaging gets the best chance of reincarnation, follow these simple hacks. 

  • – Remove food scraps and rinse plastic and aluminium before recycling  
  • – Scrunch aluminium foil into a tennis ball-size piece before recycling to avoid slipping through the recycling machinery 

Learn about sustainable packaging and avoid greenwashing 

The best way to avoid greenwashing is to learn the language of sustainability. To find out more about greenwashing and how to spot it, visit our blog.  
Learn to avoid greenwashing

The shocking truth about recycling 

The Big Plastic Count was a national survey that uncovered shocking truths about what happens to your plastic packaging. Read the results to find out why we recommend return and reuse and avoiding plastic packaging wherever possible.  

Learn about the Big Plastic Count

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