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Reduce Reuse Recycle - Your Green Guide      


Which Plastics Can You Actually Recycle?

Have you ever wondered why some plastic items such as plastic soda bottles and shampoo bottles can go into your household recycling collection, but some items such as plastic bags, toys or food storage containers cannot?

Maybe the main reason why people may be confused or be reluctant to recycle plastic is due to the various types of plastics and the different instructions for recycling, which vary from council to council.

This is because some plastics, such as thermoplastics are recyclable whereas other types, for example thermosetting plastics, are not recyclable.

This infographic explains why, and also has some fascinating information on plastic recycling in the UK.

Which plastics can you actually recycle? Have you ever wondered why some plastic items such as plastic soda bottles and shampoo bottles can go into your household recycling collection, but some items such as plastic bags, toys or food storage containers cannot?

Image Credit: Thanks to Alison Handling for use of this infographic.

Plastic is one of the most widely used materials in the world. From plastic bottles, to packaging, to plastic storage crates, plastic materials are used in a huge number of otems that we use at home, at work and at school.

Each year, over 3.7 million tonnes of plastic products are brought in the UK.

Yet despite the enormous quantities of plastic used in the UK and worldwide, only 842 thousand tonnes of plastic are recycled each year. On average, this only means a quarter of our plastic products are recycled.

The average family also throws away 40 kgs of plastic each year, yet the majority of these could be recycled. If you consider that some plastics can take up to 500 years to break down if they go to landfill and can use up a lot of energy if they are incinerated, recycling would seem to be the ideal solution, wouldn't it?

About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of Reduce Reuse Recycle.

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