Here are 10 things many of us put in the recycling (but shouldn't)

Virgin Radio

19 Jul 2023, 12:13

Pic: Getty

How many of these are you guilty of?

We all want to do the right thing for the planet, and recycle as much as we can.

However, there are some items that may seem like they can be recycled but they can't.

Eco-expert William Green says plastic waste is estimated to go up by 40%.

Some 83% of people are "wish-cyclers", who have the best intentions but accidentally contaminate their recycling bins by accident.

"Wish-cycling is the act of putting non-recyclable items in recycling bins and hoping they are recyclable,’ says William. "But this is challenging for recycling facilities to effectively sort and process – and in worse case scenarios, whole batches of contaminated recycling can end up in landfill."

Here are the items that you need to double check.

Compostable packaging might seem like an obvious choice for recycling, but it should only go in a food bin or compost heap.

It is made from materials that can break down easily as compost, as opposed to being recycled.

It should go in the waste bin instead.

Another big offender is kitchen paper towels.

They are prone to clogging the machines used for recycling, and if used for cleaning up food and drink spills first then they are counted as contaminated.

The cardboard tubes inside the roll can go in the recycling.

When you finally get to the end of the toothpaste tube, think twice before chucking it in the recycling/

Unless you manage to scrub the inside clean, they are usually considered to be contaminated due to the residue left inside.

If you have an empty blister packet of tablets, they can be difficult to recycle.

You can take the tablet packaging to pharmacies to be recycled.

If you wear contact lenses, you can take the packets to the opticians where it can have specialist recycling.

Next time you receive a parcel and want to recycle the cardboard, double check that no tape has been left on it.

Many types of tape can't be recycled.

It can see the entire parcel being sent to landfill, where the tape can be hazardous to wildlife.

Broken glass can also be problematic.

It can cause machinery issues at the recycling plant and interrupt the process of making renewed glass bottles.

Intact glass jars need to be rinsed before going in the recycling bin to avoid contamination.

If you've polished off a multipack of crisps, it might be disappointing to know that they can't be recycled.

They are actually made from plastic, and lined with a metallic material.

Next time you have a pizza, double check how clean the box is before you throw it away.

Food residue can cause problems, and it needs to go in the rubbish bin.

That goes for any takeaway containers.

Have you accidentally done any of these?