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How to Recycle

How to love the planet this Valentine’s Day

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It’s the most romantic day of the year, but we reckon Valentine’s Day should be just as much about loving the planet as well as your partner! In today’s post, we’re looking at how to keep recycling when you’re romancing…

What to do with your Valentine’s flowers

The chances are those gorgeous Valentine’s blooms have come wrapped in plastic cellophane – though more and more florists are now opting for more sustainable paper wrapping these days, which is great! While cellophane wrapping isn’t widely accepted in kerbside recycling at the moment (you can check if your local council will take it using our Recycling Locator), you can collect it together with your plastic bags and other plastic wrapping for recycling, as we’ve talked about here.

Once your flowers are past their best, you have a couple of options for disposing of them. Firstly, you could dry them and use them for a meaningful home decoration, or dry just the petals for use as confetti or in a craft project. Secondly, you can put them in your garden waste bin for collection, or on your compost heap, if you have one.

Juice cartons and leftover breakfast items with flowers

Cards and gifts

You can recycle gift wrap providing it doesn’t have glitter or foil on it. A good rule of thumb is that if you scrunch wrapping paper up into a ball and it retains its shape, you can recycle it! If it springs back, it should go in your main rubbish bin.

If your beloved has gone traditional and given you chocolate, you’ll have a few different elements to think about. First, the cardboard box – this can be flattened and put into your recycling bin. Any individual foil wrappers can be recycled, too; just gather them all together and squeeze them into a ball. If the box of chocolates also has a cellophane wrap around it, this can be recycled along with your plastic bag recycling, as we mentioned earlier.

Tip: Received an unwanted Valentine’s card? If it’s not one you want to keep and treasure, it’s safe to recycle as long as it’s not decorated with glitter or foil. Envelopes are good to go, too!

The food of love

a bowl of noodles with chopsticks

Planning a romantic dinner at home? With restaurants so busy on Valentine’s Day, a cosy night in is a great alternative! A homecooked meal made with love is a wonderful way to mark the occasion, whether with your other half or gathering together to celebrate with friends. Cooking your own meal also means you can easily recycle any food waste that’s left behind, from eggshells to potato peelings – just pop them in your food waste caddy or onto your compost heap.

If you want to minimise the time you spend in the kitchen, a takeaway is another great choice for Valentine’s Day. If you’re opting for a pizza, the cardboard box it came in can be recycled, as long as it’s not too soaked in grease. Remember to make sure it’s clear of leftover crusts before it goes in the recycling bin, and rinse out any plastic pots of garlic dip and recycle those too.

If your takeaway of choice is an Indian or Chinese, you’ll be pleased to hear that those plastic tubs and pots can be rinsed out and recycled as well. That’s if you don’t want to reuse them, of course – keeping something in use is always the best solution!

If you’re going for a ‘make your own takeaway’ – such as a supermarket Valentine’s Meal deal – there will be a few different bits to recycle. Cardboard sleeves and other packaging is straightforward to recycle, but be sure to remove any cellophane plastic ‘windows’ from the box and recycle that separately. Plastic and foil trays just need rinsing out before going in the recycling, as do beer cans and wine bottles.

Tip: Remember to keep the lid on any screwtop bottles, but remove the cork. If it’s a real cork rather than a plastic one, you can also put it on your compost heap if you have one!

Anything else you’re not sure about? Look up a specific item on our A-Z recycling list. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Check what you can recycle with our Recycling Locator

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