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Top 8 Recycling Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

March 7, 2024

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Recycling is paramount in the quest to preserve our planet. Here, Coastal Recycling dispels the 8 most common recycling myths.

Recycling plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the environment. Yet, various myths about recycling continue to persist despite the Household Waste Recycling Act being fully bedded in.

This act required local authorities in England to provide every household with individual collection boxes to separate recyclables, and was implemented successfully by 2010. Here are some of the most common misconceptions to give you a better understanding of recycling’s significance.

Myth: Recycling is a waste of time

Contrary to this myth, recycling plays a crucial role in protecting the environment by conserving natural resources and preventing pollution. It also cuts disposal costs for council taxpayers. Recycling efforts are closely monitored and checked, while materials are often processed within the UK, ensuring responsible recycling.

Myth: Recycling uses more energy than it saves

Recycling is actually very energy-efficient. Up to 95% less energy is required to create products from recycled materials, which conserves valuable resources and reduces environmental impact. For example, recycling a single aluminium can, can save enough energy to power a TV for four hours.

Myth: Rinsing recyclables is a waste of water

Rinsing empty containers is vital for efficient recycling. It prevents contamination and ensures recyclables maintain their quality as they make their way to recycling centres and are processed to make new materials. The water used to rinse your recyclables can be repurposed for daily activities, such as watering the plants.

Myth: Aerosols can’t be recycled

Empty aerosol cans can indeed be recycled, including their plastic caps. You just need to make sure they’re completely empty and recycling facilities will process them from there.

Myth: Understanding recycling symbols on plastics is essential

The numbers within triangles on plastic containers highlights the type of plastic used but doesn’t necessarily determine their recyclability. To identify if a plastic item is recyclable, look for on-pack recycling labels and follow local guidelines.

Myth: Lots of plastic products can’t be recycled

You can recycle a wide range of plastic products, including bottles, pots, tubs, and trays. However, it’s best to avoid black plastic as although the plastic is actually recyclable, the colour of the plastic means it to can’t be recognised by the sorting systems used in recycling facilities. Most types of plastic bags that have contained food can be recycled at your local supermarket. Check with your local authority about items like polystyrene and bubble wrap, as this differs between areas.

Myth: It’s okay to put the wrong items in your recycling bin

Putting the incorrect items in your recycling bin can lead to contamination, meaning your recyclables may not be taken or they can be rendered useless. Common contaminants include nappies, food waste, clothes, electricals and garden waste. Some of these can be recycled but may require extra effort by taking them to your local recycling centre.

Myth: Councils charge for additional recycling bins

You can usually request additional recycling bins from your local council without any additional charges and many councils will encourage responsible recycling by providing multiple bins for your convenience.

Get in touch with Coastal Recycling

Understanding these truths allows you to make the most of recycling and highlights the importance of responsible recycling in protecting our environment for future generations. If you have any questions regarding your recycling, get in touch with us.

Recycling plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the environment.