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Plastic Recycling: What Plastics Can You Recycle and How?

From when the Household Waste Recycling Act 2003 was cleared twenty years ago to now, household recycling has certainly had a huge impact in how our waste is disposed of. Materials such as cardboard, paper, glass and tins have been recyclable for many years now, but the true recycling renovation came when it became possible to recycle plastic, too.


Being the predominant material that comprises most of our packaging, with it being only recently that there has been more of a shift towards using sustainable materials to package products, plastic waste is often abundant in households across the UK.


In order to dispose of this as responsibly as possible, we’ve put together this guide for you to see what types of plastic can and can’t be recycled and how to do so properly.



Waste plastic


Hard Plastics

Hard plastics are the most common types of plastics that you can recycle from home, with most local councils accepting these as part of their weekly waste collection. This typically includes items such as:


● Bottles - including bottle tops (e.g. those used for shampoo, milk, laundry detergent)

● Pots (e.g. those used for yoghurts, dips, cream)

● Tubs (e.g. those used for ice-cream, butter, laundry tablets)

● Trays (e.g. those used for ready meals, meat, fruit and vegetable punnets)


There are seven different identification codes for types of plastic, of which four can be easily recycled, and it is one of these four types that the above example will be most likely made from. These are type 1 (PET), type 2 (HDPE), type 4 (LDPE) and type 5 (PP).

This is why there are certain hard plastics that are not widely accepted when it comes to recycling, such as children’s toys, CD cases and coat hangers, which are typically made from other plastic types or mixed materials.


Soft Plastics

Unlike hard plastics, soft plastics are not commonly able to go into your home recycling bins for collection. As the same suggests, these are lightweight plastics with more movement to them. Examples include:


● Carrier bags

● Pasta bags

● Film lids (such as those on yoghurt pots and fruit punnets)

● Bread bags


The general rule of thumb for determining whether or not a plastic counts as soft is to scrunch it, then if it unravels again it is likely to be considered soft plastic.

Although these are not accepted in your household recycling, many supermarkets have started to introduce soft plastic collection points in their stores that you can deposit such items into when going in for your weekly shop. It is worth researching to see if your local supermarket offers this.

If they don’t, then this may be available at your local recycling centre or local recycling collection services, such as Newbery Recycling Ltd.


Recycling Services Taunton

If you’re looking for a company that works with plastic recycling in Taunton, then look no further than Newbery Recycling Ltd. Striving to serve a greener planet, we offer a number of plastic recycling and commercial waste services, including soft plastic recycling and collection services.

To consciously dispose of your plastic waste, get in touch with us today.

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