Know Your Plastic aims to raise awareness of which types of plastic can be recycled

Recycle for London (RfL), as part of its London Recycles campaign, has launched Know Your Plastic, an initiative to help people understand which plastic items can be recycled at home. It features short, quirky videos on social media supported by detailed information on a dedicated web page.

The campaign is being shared by Hounslow Council, which wants to help residents understand what can and cannot be accepted for recycling.The type of plastic that can be recycled varies slightly from borough to borough, so RfL recommends that you check with your local council first, via either its dedicated recycling web pages or service information distributed to households. Its website has a feature enabling you, by inputting your post code, to find your nearest recycling bank and to determine which items you can recycle at home.

Generally, the following plastic items can be recycled at home:

  • Clear and coloured plastic bottles
  • Soap bottles – remove pumps and stick them in the rubbish bin
  • Spray cleaners – leave the triggers in
  • Bleach bottles
  • Shampoo and shower gel bottles
  • Milk bottles
  • Pots for yoghurt, soup, dips and so on
  • Tubs for things like cheese spread and ice cream
  • Trays for fruit, veg, meat, sweet treats (like bakewell tarts and apple pies for example)

And these plastic items can’t be recycled:

  • Plastic bottles containing chemicals (e.g. anti-freeze). This is because strong chemicals can harm staff in recycling plants, as well as damage equipment
  • Crisp packets and sweet wrappers
  • Film lids from pots and trays
  • Laminated pouches, such as for cat food and coffee
  • Plastic toys
  • Medicine blister packs
  • Squeezy toothpaste tubes
  • Polystyrene

Top Tips

  • Rinse packaging — leftover food residue can ruin your recycling. A quick rinse will do,
  • Leave labels on but remove plastic film and put it in your rubbish bin.
  • Separate cardboard and paper from plastic packaging and pop it in the recycling separately.
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