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10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle

Posted on September 26 2018

As keen recyclers, we’re really excited about Recycling week! We all know that shopping secondhand and looking for eco-friendly pieces are great ways to make a positive impact on the environment, but the end of life of your purchases are just as important! Every household will have a recycling routine with items such as food tins or plastic cartons, but there are tons of other items in your home could be reused that normally end up being thrown away! These things can make a big impact for example if we recycle all the steel packaging we use in a year, it would save enough energy to make over 50,000 returns train journeys between London and Edinburgh! (recyclenow fact)

So, this Recycling Week, we’re giving you a helping hand in the recycling department, with a guide to 10 things that are totally recyclable or reusable that you might not have thought of…


10 Surprising Things You Can Recycle

1. Bathroom Packaging

There are lots of bathroom items you are able to recycle and make a huge difference. For instance, if everyone in the UK recycled one toothpaste box, it would save enough energy to run a fridge in over 2,000 homes for a year (recycle now fact).  Other items that are recyclable include shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles, but make sure you rinse them out beforehand!

A handy note, if your soap bottle has a lid then this needs to be disposed of in the general waste. Alternatively, why not switch your plastic bottled soap for a reusable glass dispenser or use a bar of soap.


2. Foil

Did you know that the tin foil you use for cooking and food can go into your normal recycling bins?! To make it even easier to recycle, collect foil together and wrap into a ball. Other aluminium items that are recyclable include drinks cans, screw top lids from wine bottles (can be recycled with the bottle) and takeaway containers.


3. Cosmetics

Big name makeup brands are now starting to become more eco-conscious with not only how their product is made, but how to dispose of it once it’s been used up. Brands such as MAC, Lush, Aveda and Origins all now have their own recycling schemes, where you can take in empty containers and recycle them responsibility… and if you’re heading into MAC you can get a FREE lipstick if you bring in 6 empty containers!


4. Batteries

In the UK less than 50% of all batteries disposed of are correctly recycled. A pretty worrying figure when you find out that batteries actually contain toxic chemicals that can actually leak into landfill sites. It’s crucial that products like batteries from small AA to a large laptop battery are recycled responsibility in designated recycle point.

To avoid throwing away batteries, try using rechargeable batteries where possible or buy appliances with renewable or solar energy.


5. Coffee Pods

Undoubtedly, something a lot of us can’t live without and now something that comes in a tiny pod that create your coffee in seconds. Simple and easy to use, they can be pretty bad for the environment. You can’t throw them away with your normal recycling, Nespresso does have an option for them to be recycled! You fill one of their recycling bags, and send them off via CollectPlus or drop into a Nespresso store, easier than you think eh?


6. Underwear

Yep, you heard us right... your old kickers can be recycled! Your old underwear or damaged clothing can be recycled and turned into cleaning cloths, industrial blankets and even padding for chairs and car seats!

You can donate your items in your local recycle bank or head to one of our London stores and drop your items in the #LoveNotLandfill clothes banks.


7. Mobile Phones

Up to 80% of your mobile phone can be recycled, and only 13% of mobile phones are recycled properly every year! If your phone is past its sell by, you can recycle your mobile in your local Oxfam or find an e-waste recycling station.


8. Light Bulbs

Your energy effective light bulbs aren’t like incandescent bulbs, not only do they save you money but they are also recyclable! You can recycle them at recycling points and also at selected IKEA and Tesco.



9. Pens

Widely not known for general recycling, you can recycle your pens, highlighters and other pencil case essentials with The Writing Instruments Brigade Programme! You can drop off your pens at 100s of drop off points all over the UK, where your pens can then be made into new recycled products.


10. Mattresses

Not top of the list of things we think are recyclable, but our old mattresses are full of recycled materials, from the metal springs to the foam and cotton fillings. The best way to get rid of your mattress is to arrange to pick up with your local council, who pick up items locally in bulk to help in the recycling efforts.

There are so many other items in your home that can be recycled, repurposed or given a new home. Find out more about what you can and can’t recycle over on the official Recycle Week website.