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Aug 23, 2023

10 Things to Take Away from Recycling Week 2022


National Recycling Week is a great opportunity for governments, businesses and the general public to come together to reassert the importance of recycling! Following a massively successful campaign last year, National Recycling week 2022 is focussing on a ‘let’s get real’ theme, which aims to target and abolish all the myths and misconceptions around recycling. A special focus will also be on contamination in recyclable materials to help improve recycling practices nationwide.

National Recycling week is an important event, but for it to be a success it needs support. This has been recognised by several big brands and has recently announced that Mcdonald's, innocent, Coca-Cola, Arla Foods, Danone, Ocado and Natural Source Waters Association have all sponsored the event!

Set to kick off on the 19th of September until the 25th, National Recycling Week is on track to be a roaring success. But you might be wondering what can you do to support National Recycling Week and what can you take away from it to improve your recycling practices. Keep reading and find out a few quick tips on how you can be more efficient with your recycling…

1. No Plastic Bags

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As we all know, plastic bags are seriously bad for the environment. Not only do they run the risk of being a hazard before they break down with the potential to be ingested or entangle wildlife, but eventually they will dissolve into harmful microplastics which can pollute on an even wider scale. Plastic bags are also a nightmare for recycling, often clogging up equipment and instilling huge setbacks in the recycling process. Usually, any plastic that you can push your finger through should not be going in your recycling bin. Instead, take it to an appropriate recycling centre and use the correct disposal area.

2. Don’t Recycle Anything Smaller Than a Credit Card

Try not to put anything smaller than your bank card in the recycling bin. Unfortunately, the equipment used to sort and break down the plastics can’t always pick up items that are too small, which means they could either end up contaminating the recyclable plastics or they could just be missed altogether. Things like recyclable bottle caps are fine as long as they are put back onto the original bottle. Items like metal bottle caps are a little trickier as they can’t be recycled with the glass container they came on. However, keep hold of your metal and there’s a chance that it can be recycled as scrap metal.

3. Clean, Dry and Empty Your Packaging

Make sure that everything you recycle is clean and void of all other contaminates, after all, you can’t recycle the left-over baked beans in your can of Heinz. If you are unsure if it’s clean enough to recycle, ask yourself - would you reuse it in that condition? Would you store jam in that jar that has still got warm, 5-day-old residue left in it? Probably not. So, give it a clean and then recycle.

4. Separate Materials

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This is a tricky one and doesn’t apply to everything. Some items have multiple layers of plastic like yoghurt pots or milk bottles, often having an extra plastic label covering the actual bottle or pot itself. More often than not, everything will be recyclable, just not together. But the solution is simple, just remove the extra packing and then recycle it separately. It’s these mixes of plastic that often cause contamination and unfortunately, act as a fast-track ticket to landfill.

5. Know Your Recyclable Plastics

Get to know what you are recycling. Most of the time the small recyclable symbol will be easily visible, but it never hurts to know exactly what can and can’t be recycled for yourself. The more you know the less likely potentially recyclable materials will end up in landfill. As much as your intentions may be great, try not to just guess what can be recycled and hope for the best. It’s easy to accidentally contaminate your recycling which will cause issues later on down the recycling line.

6. Reduce What You Buy in the First Place

Recycling helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, but the need for mountains of recycling may not be as essential if you don’t have all that waste in the first place. Trace your recycling back to its roots and take steps towards buying less packaging.

7. Get to Know Your Local Recycling Centre

Either do some research online or go and investigate your local recycling centre and you might find a few things that you didn’t know you could recycle. It’s great to get an idea of what you can recycle and how you can recycle it in your local area.

8. Get Others to Recycle

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Once you’ve got all the ins and outs of recycling nailed down, get your friends and family involved too. The more people you can get on board with your new recycling tips and tricks, the bigger the impact will be.

9. Introduce at Work

It is easy to stay on top of your recycling when you are home but are you as thorough in keeping on top of it at work? Maybe your workplace already has a food recycling initiative and that’s great, but if not, have you ever thought about introducing your own recycling habits? Simple steps like placing recycling bins in accessible areas, printing less and using recycled ink cartridges all help.

10. Other Solutions

So many things from the home can be recycled, not just plastic bottles and metal cans. Be sure to check everything before you throw it away, and if you’re not sure then don’t be afraid to google it. Clothing and textiles are something that tends to be overlooked when it comes to recycling but have a look at your local recycling centre and it’s likely that they will have a clothing and textiles bin. And if that fails just donate it and give it a new life. Books are another one that often gets forgotten and miss out on being recycled. Books can sometimes be a bit harder to recycle because of the glue that binds them together, but fear not, there is still a recycling solution - sell them to WeBuyBooks and earn some cash for your unwanted reading material! Whatever it is that you are looking to throw away, double-check to see if you can recycle first.

So, we hope you can make the most of the upcoming National Recycling Week and that a few of our tips can help you improve your recycling.

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