Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed and confused about recycling? Do you often wonder if it’s even worth the effort? It’s time to take a deep breath, because you’re not alone. According to research, 80% of UK households are still unsure about how to recycle effectively. With confusing labels, postcode-dependent kerbside collections, and hard-to-access recycling centres, it can be difficult to know what to do with your waste.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the current state of recycling and provide a guide to what to do with some of the household items we struggle with. We’ll also discuss how to reduce, reuse and recycle in a way that has the most impact.
Recycling has become a complicated process, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Many of us focus on the least important part of the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ mantra – recycling – while ignoring the more important parts. It’s time to shift our focus and look at the bigger picture.
The good news is that things are changing, albeit slowly. In the UK, the government is consulting on ‘consistent collections’ which could mean that all homes will be able to recycle plastic, glass, paper, card and cartons. There’s also a proposed Deposit Return Scheme, which would allow consumers to pay a returnable deposit for plastic bottles and cans.
In the meantime, here are some tips on how to recycle some of the items you might struggle with:
– Contact lens packaging: Specsavers and Boots Opticians both take back lenses and packaging, and recycle them in the UK or through TerraCycle.
– Glasses: Lions International collects spectacles at its Birmingham HQ and partners with charities to get them to eye centres and clinics in the developing world. Specsavers, Boots Opticians and Peep Eyewear also take glasses for recycling.
– Cosmetics: Boots takes all cosmetics, from any brand or source, and recycles them in the UK to create construction board.
– Pumps: The tops from soap, shower gel or other dispensers can’t go in your normal plastic recycling. Boots cosmetic recycling scheme also takes them.
– Dental stuff: TerraCycle will accept toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads, floss containers and interdental brushes, but it’s best to reuse them as much as you can for cleaning. Toothpaste tubes can go in Boots cosmetic recycling boxes.
– Insulin pens: Boots and Superdrug take these through the PenCycle scheme.
– Pill blister packs: Superdrug runs a blister pack recycling scheme in stores with an in-store pharmacy, and some local schemes are also available.
– Black plastic containers: These can now be recycled, though it’s best to rinse them first.
– Bags and wrappers: Supermarkets have collection boxes for flexible plastic, which take salad bags, carrier bags, crisp and biscuit packets, ready meal film lids and more.
– Pizza boxes: Grease stains are fine, so these can be recycled.
– Food and pet food pouches: These can go into the flexible plastic collection points in supermarkets, or Pets at Home will recycle pet food pouches of any brand in its 320 stores.
– Foil: Check with your council to see if they collect foil kerbside, or take it to your local recycling centre.
By following these guidelines, and remembering to reduce, reuse and recycle in that order, we can all make a difference. Recycling shouldn’t be this hard, and with a little effort and knowledge we can make a positive impact on the environment.