BRITAIN FAILS TO RECYCLE 16 MILLION PLASTIC BOTTLES EVERY DAY
Each year the average UK household uses 480 plastic bottles , but only recycles 270 of them - meaning nearly half (44%) are NOT put in the recycling.
This means that nationally, of the over 35 million plastic bottles being used every day in the UK, nearly 16 million plastic bottles aren’t being put out for recycling. New data from Recycle Now reveals the number of plastic bottles evading recycling could reach 29 billion over the four years up to the end of 2020.
If a year’s worth of the UK’s unrecycled plastic bottles were placed end to end, they’d reach around the world 31 times, covering just over 780,000 miles.
Alice Harlock, from Recycle Now said:
The number of plastic bottles not being recycled is staggering and will increase further if we don’t take action. Householders are often unsure if items are recyclable especially from the bathroom, bedroom and living room. An easy way to tell is, if an item is plastic and bottle shaped its recyclable.
Commonly used items people might not know are recyclable include: empty bleach; shampoo; conditioner; bathroom cleaners and hand soap dispenser bottles.
In a bid to encourage people into taking action to recycle more plastic bottles, Recycle Now is calling on the UK public to open their eyes to all potential recycling opportunities in the home.
Alice Harlock continued:
We need to challenge ourselves when it comes to what we could be recycling. Every plastic bottle counts. We’re asking people to think more about what they can recycle every time they go to put something in the waste bin. If you’re having a shower and using up the last of the shampoo – don’t just think replace, think Recycle. When you run out of your favourite moisturiser in the morning – don’t just think replace, think Recycle. If you’re not sure whether you can recycle plastic bottles at home check out our Recycling Locator.
How to recycle plastic
Nearly all local authorities in the UK collect recycling from the home, and recycling plastic bottles has never been easier. To ensure you can confidently recycle at home, Recycle Now recommends:
- Making sure plastic bottles are empty
- Rinsing the bottles
- Squashing the bottles to save space in the recycling bin (then put the lids back on)
- If you’re on the go; pop your plastic bottle in a bag and recycle it when you get home rather than throwing it in a waste bin
TOP THREE PLASTIC RECYCLING MYTHS DEBUNKED
Keep your plastic lids
Plastic bottles with plastic lids – water bottles, milk bottles, shampoo and bleach bottles can be squashed to save space in your recycling bin, and the lids can be put back on for recycling too.
What about bleach?
Some people assume bleach and kitchen cleaner bottles can’t be recycled because of their contents – but it’s easier than you think to safely recycle them. Ensure the bottle is empty and leave the lid on.
What’s the point of recycling plastics?
Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than required for producing new products from scratch - 75% less in fact, meaning the impact on the environment is lowered.
About Recycle Now
Recycle Now is a campaign to encourage people in the UK to recycle more things more often from all around the home.
WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. We work with businesses, individuals and communities to help them reap the benefits of reducing waste, developing sustainable products and using resources in an efficient way. Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on: www.wrap.org.uk