We all want to do our best to help the planet. Many of us walk to work, opt for vegetarian diets and recycle as much as possible. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to be more sustainable and just requires you to throw cardboard, plastic and metal into the right bin. But what if we are making mistakes when recycling that potentially compromises the way our recycling centres function?
To make it simple, we’ve put together this blog to explain common recycling mistakes to help you do better for the planet.
Black and dark plastic is non-recyclable
Unfortunately, black plastic, despite being cheap to manufacture, is actually not able to be recycled. This is because black pigments don’t allow the packaging to be sorted using standard optical sorting systems. This also includes other dark plastics. In general, it’s much easier to just avoid plastics that come in dark plastic containers as then you don’t need to worry about it not being able to be recycled.
Dirty plastic cannot be recycled
In order to recycle food packaging, it must be recycled beforehand, otherwise, it won’t be accepted. You should clean your recycling before throwing it in a recycling bin, remove lids and squash it down as flat as possible.
Get to know what can’t be recycled
Some containers just can’t be recycled so it’s important to know which ones. For example:
- Hummus pots
- Soup pots
- Yoghurt pots
- Fruit and vegetable punnets
- Takeaway containers
- Tetra packaging
- Toothpaste tubes
It can be disheartening to learn that so many common items can’t be recycled, however, this should push you to opt for more eco-friendly packaging such as cardboard or biodegradable options.
Buy in bulk instead of multipacks
Another way to avoid plastic pots that can’t be recycled is to buy them in bulk. This is because larger plastic containers are usually made from different types of plastic and are more widely recycled. For example, individual yoghurt pots can’t be recycled but many bigger ones can be.
Put compostable packaging in the food waste bin
When you buy packaging that is biodegradable or compostable, it might be your first instinct to assume it is able to be recycled. However, this just means that it can be put in your food waste bin, not your recycling.