Be a Responsible Recycler – 5 ways to improve your recycling
Welcome to our second blog this Recycle Week, which is a celebration of recycling, organised by WRAP under the Recycle Now brand. The aim of the week is to encourage people to recycle more, by demonstrating the benefits of recycling items from around our homes. The theme this year is: Recycling. We do. Because it matters.
This blog will attempt to bust some recycling myths and give you some useful tips on how you can recycle more, keep materials in use, and keep waste out of our environment.
The Waste Issue
Over the last century, single use packaging has become part of everyday life. From bottles and bags, to cans and cardboard boxes – our lives and our planet are full of packaging.
Undoubtedly, the number one goal for both businesses and consumers should be to reduce our usage of all the materials in our lives. Since that’s not always possible, the materials we do use should be made responsibly with recycled content and fully recyclable.
However, despite a huge rise in recycling rates over the past few years, there is still a big difference between what we are recycling and what we could be, known as the recycling gap.
Plastic drinks bottles, like our Belu mineral water bottles and their lids, are accepted for recycling by 99% of local councils in the UK – so there really is no excuse. Recycling your drinks bottles means that they can be turned into new bottles (like our Belu recycled plastic bottles, which are made from 50% recycled plastic) or other products. Recycling materials round and round is known as the circular economy, which is better far better than burning it or dumping in landfill.
So we want to share with you our 5 top tips for how you can improve your plastic recycling:
- 1. Recycle at home
– If you have one already, you can get a recycling bin from your local council for kerbside collections.
– Check which materials you can put in your recycling bin by using the Recycle Now Recycling Locator.
– Remember, not all packaging will have a recycling label, but you can still recycle it if it is on the list.
- 2. Don’t forget your bathroom
– Many of us are good at recycling in the kitchen, but forget about the products in our bathrooms.
– If it’s plastic and bottle shaped: it’s generally recyclable. So, make sure you’re recycling those empty shampoo bottles (but not any pump dispensers).
– Recycle cardboard toilet roll tubes, toothpaste and soap boxes, as well as deodorant and shaving foam cans.
- 3. Recycle on the go
– Look out for designated recycling bins when you’re out and about. Check the signs and labels, and take care to place your item in the correct bin.
– If you don’t spot a recycling bin or the one you find is full, consider taking your waste home and recycling it.
– Encourage your local council and businesses to introduce more recycling bins in your community.
- 4. Rinse your recyclables
– Rinse your bottles, cans and other recyclables to remove an food, drink or left over product. This makes your items less likely to be rejected.
– Squash your plastic bottles and cartons so more can be fitted in a recycling trunk collection.
– Replace the lid on your bottles to prevent these getting lost and residue liquid escaping.
- 5. Don’t stop at kerbside recycling
– Look out for plastic bag collection points in supermarkets. You can recycle all polythene bags there, including carrier, bread and frozen veg bags, magazine plastic sleeves and bubble wrap (but not cling film).
– Local community waste recycling sites take many unusual and larger items that can’t go in your household recycling. Enter your postcode in Recycle Now’s Recycling Locator to find out where and how to recycle specific items such as mobile phones, computers, textiles, batteries, light bulbs and paint.
– Don’t forget about your local charity shop. Check with your local shop to see what items you can donate, some will even come and pick up your goods from your door.
Written by Sophie Goodall-Smith, Sustainability Manager at Belu
Header image by Recycle Now/WRAP