As a nation we consume many products throughout our daily lives, from food and drink to beauty and toiletries. As we encounter so many items we’re bound to stumble across lots of plastic packaging in our homes.
Plastic packaging has so many good uses, for example, it can help to keep food fresher for longer on supermarket shelves and in our fridges. Plastic bottles in particular are strong, safe and do not break – without them we’d never be able have cleaning products or even our favourite toiletries!
Recycling household plastic packaging has such a positive impact on our environment. It decreases the need for raw materials which helps to save energy, for instance it takes 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic compared with using 'virgin' materials.
It’s easy to sometimes think that your recycling efforts don’t make a difference, but in reality recycling plastic packaging from around the home helps us tremendously. Recycled plastic bottles can be made into new bottles, t-shirts, fleeces, furniture, children’s toys and other plastic bottles. Those plastic pots, tubs and trays can come back as plastic buckets and even paint containers.
Top tips for recycling plastic bottles
- Empty plastic bottles and containers before you recycle.
- Give them a quick rinse.
- Squash plastic drinks bottles to save space in your recycling container.
- Remove pumps from liquid soap and cleaning product bottles as these are not recyclable.
- Put trigger spray tops back on bottles.
Top tips for recycling plastic pots, tubs and trays
Before recycling plastic pots, tubs and trays, please check the Recycling Locator to find out if you can recycle these items in your area. If so:
- Remove any plastic film or cling film from plastic pots, tubs and trays before recycling.
- Give plastic pots, tubs and trays a quick rinse in left over washing up water before recycling.
If your council does not accept plastic pots, tubs and trays, please do not put these items in your recycling bin – throw them in the rubbish bin.
How is plastic recycled?
Watch our video to find out more. (A transcript of the video is also available).