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How to Recycle

How to have a waste-free World Cup

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The World Cup kicked off on the 20 November and we’re looking forward to catching the action with friends at home! If you’re planning a World Cup party this year, here’s how to celebrate without anything going to waste.

Food packaging

Let’s face it, the food is a big part of the appeal when fellow footie fans gather together – but the packaging can generate a lot of waste. You can avoid some of this by getting your chef’s hat on and conjuring up some culinary delights from scratch. If that’s too time-consuming and you feel the lure of the takeaway, the good news is the packaging can all be recycled!

  • Tin foil can be recycled by cleaning it and then scrunching it up into a small football shape (appropriately enough!).

  • Glass bottles and jars simply need rinsing out and placing in your glass recycling, if this is separate from your main recycling bin.

  • Pizza boxes are made of cardboard, so they can go in the main recycling as long as they’re not soaked in grease. Make sure there are no stray crusts inside them before you put them in your recycling bin, and any plastic pots of garlic dip can be rinsed out and recycled too.

  • Drink cans can be recycled in your normal recycling container.

  • Takeaway tubs and trays, whether made from aluminium foil or plastic, can both either be reused or recycled – remember to empty and rinse them before putting them in your recycling container.

Remember to factor in the amount of extra food you’ll have in the house when you’re doing your weekly shop – it’s so easy to over-buy!

Dinner is served...Steer clear of disposable dinnerware when it’s time to dig in. Use real cutlery, crockery and glassware rather than plastic or paper versions – it’ll mean a bit more washing up, but it’s worth it! Oh, and stick to paper or reusable metal straws, of course.

Tackling the leftovers

If there’s any leftover food, make sure it’s not destined for the bin! Keep food fresh with reusable beeswax wraps or glass or Tupperware boxes instead of plastic wrap, so you can enjoy it for lunch the next day without plastic waste. Any vegetable-based scraps you don’t get through can be put on the compost heap or into your kitchen food waste caddy (the caddy is also the place for any inedible meat or dairy products you can’t use).


If you’re really getting into the party spirit and want to decorate with a World Cup theme, think about how you can do this without using things that can’t be recycled. Balloons, for example, can’t be recycled, so they’re best avoided. Use paper bunting and paper flags with cardboard sticks rather than plastic ones, and opt for recyclable paper streamers instead of shiny metallic ones.


The TV will be the focal point of the festivities, but if you’re treating yourself to a new one then don’t just ditch the old one. For starters, you may find that the retailer you’re buying your new TV from offers a trade-in or take-back option for your old one. If not, you could donate it to a charity shop, sell it online via sites such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace, or give it away via Freecycle if it’s too outdated to be worth anything. If you can’t find someone to take it off your hands, take a look at our Recycling Locator for details of how to recycle your television in your local area.

Football shirts

At the final whistle, if you’ve treated yourself to a new shirt in honour of the World Cup and have an old one to get rid of, don’t let it end up in the bin! If you can’t sell it on or give it to a friend, you’ll find there are charities that specialise in them – such as Football Shirts FC. Alternatively, check out our Recycling Locator to find details of where you can recycle clothing in your community.

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