5 Things You Thought Were Recyclable, That Aren't...

Posted by Kim C on

5 things you thought were recyclable, can i recycle plastic bottle tops, reusable alternatives, eco friendly blog, plastic free blog, zero wast blog, zero waste uk shop, plastic free uk shop, eco friendly shop uk


(The Big No No’s In Recycling)

8 out of 10 UK residents believe recycling makes a difference, research from the British Science Association (BSA) shows. Recycling might seem to be a straightforward system, yet when quizzed on exactly what items can go into their recycling bins, none of the 2,000 adult Brits surveyed got full marks.

Not all plastic, glass, and paper can actually be recycled in an equal manner and our mistakes can be very costly for our environment, wild life and can result in wasted council tax money.

recycling blog, zero waste blog, eco friendly blog, plastic free blog, can i recycle that, can i recycle plastic bottle tops, reusable alternatives

Here are 5 commonly mistaken non-recyclable items that you need to avoid putting in your recycling bin:

  • Brightly dyed paper since the coloured ink can actually leak and change the other items’ colour.
  • Paper towels and napkins are deemed unsuitable in the process of recycling since these can absorb some contaminants.
  • Cardboard containers coated with wax and juice boxes – Usually these do not have the mark of being recyclable, you should not recycle them at all.
  • Plastic bottle tops – Even though you can recycle plastic bottles, the tops are not regarded as appropriate for recycling.
  • Wet paper is also not recyclable due to the damage to fibres and possible contaminants.

Do You know of any other items that are commonly believed to be recyclable but actually aren't?

Let us know in the comments below ⬇️

Remember: Reusing is better than Recycling. Please choose Reusables whenever possible ✅


You might like these goodies...

Reusable Toxin Free Cling Film Replacement


Reusable Bamboo Sanitary Pads

Reusable Toxin Free Tea Bags Set


  • In house recycling guidance courses held recently by my local council told us that black plastics weren’t currently accepted by recyclers – at least in our area – so not to add them to plastic waste.
    Our council DOES collect tetrapack style waxed cartons.
    We WERE also informed that despite supermarkets collecting plastic bags, as far as our council is concerned these aren’t currently recycled so they told us to place them in the general waste.
    A very welcome eye opening and informative update by our own employer to promote in house recycling.

    Sarah Robb on

  • Plastic bottle tops except black ones can be taken to any Lush shop, in small quantities and they recycle them.

    Katherine Regan on

  • I think what emerges from the comments is that there is no national consistency on this. Different councils have different policies. It would be sensible to have a national policy. On plastic bottle tops, which are usually, but not always excluded from recycling, the cosmetic firm Lush has a great scheme whereby you can send plastic tops to them via Freepost, and they grind them up to provide raw material for new plastic items, e.g. children’s furniture.

    Rob Spence on

  • My council recycles Juice cartons with the paper and card. They reassure me black plastic is recycled here. I know it is hit and miss in other areas where infrared may not pick it out. I have been removing the lids off plastic bottles to make recycling easier as plastics are separated into different colors.
    I have been removing the tea bags from blue food bin as most brands contain 5-10% plastic to give the bag shape.

    Bosco DeSouza on

  • Yes we can also recycle plastic lids at our recycling centre in Peterborough and tetra packaging.
    I’ve seen you can send plastic lids to “lush” stores they recycle them if your local centre doesn’t.
    Our lives call food Hall at marks and Spencers has started recycling crisp packets, the black trays used for microwave meals and film (which I’m taking to mean salad bags etc)

    Gemma on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published