Which Everyday Products Can Be Recycled?

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London, United Kingdom
20th November 2019

Which Everyday Products Can Be Recycled?

Waste Systems

In the U.K we buy around 3.7 million tonnes of plastic products each and every year. With only 875,000 tonnes of that being recycled, we are facing a waste situation of epic proportions. With so many different plastic products out there, it is difficult to know which of them can be recycled and which can’t.

Looking through our homes we can see a huge selection of plastic materials that end up in our black bins, sometimes we don’t know if they are recyclable or not, sometimes they get contaminated through food or aren’t accepted by our local authorities, sometimes we are just lazy. One thing is certain, all of these situations lead to plastic ending up at landfill.

It is good to know which of our plastic products at home can’t be recycled. This way we can try and avoid purchasing them, or find an alternative to plastic that can be recycled, re-used, or is at least biodegradable:

Dental Hygiene Products – most of these used to be made from aluminium which was recyclable, but now companies opt for more lightweight plastic alternatives which are shunned by councils and reprocessors.

Clingfilm – one of the domestic markets biggest waste headaches. Because it contains PVC, recycling is hazardous due to fumes released. Can be recycled but it’s very unlikely for authorities to collect it due to the likelihood of food contamination.

CD’s DVD’s – the aluminium and polycarbonate mix is difficult for processors to break down.

Pill Packets – Traditional pill bottles were easily recyclable but with companies now using plastic and aluminium blister packs the tougher materials are much harder to deal with.

Bubble Wrap – although the most common packaging, it is not recyclable; but after resisting the urge to pop it they can easily be re-used.

Silica Gel – if this gets into water supplies it can be very harmful but is not currently recyclable, so people have no choice but to pop it in the bin. Can be reused to keep moisture away from electronic equipment and dry food stores though.

Razor Blades – Disposable razor heads are complex, making them more likely than ever to end up at landfill. Single razors are recommended but with a 3x higher price than disposables it’s easy to see the problem.

Cat Litter – faeces need to be removed from the litter before it is possible to compost which is not a sought-after job.

Citrus Fruit Netting – try and buy fruit separately if possible. These nettings are some of the most environmentally un-friendly waste materials.

Broken Plates – Crockery in a useable condition should be donated to charity shops but broken crockery can’t be recycled, meaning it’s off to the landfill it goes.

More economical recycling systems are being produced all the time so check with your local council about what plastic materials can and can’t be recycled. It is recommended to try and avoid non-recyclable materials as much as possible.