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Let’s Talk Trash: The Lowdown on How to Recycle Correctly

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Without a doubt, humanity has, for the last half a century or so, had a decidedly throwaway attitude in regards to the way we behave as consumers. Long gone are the days of “make do and mend”, a culture that was unfortunately superseded by a fixation on all things convenient, disposable and replaceable. Luckily, recycling is one positive step that we can all take on a daily basis towards becoming more conscientious consumers.

The vast majority of us are, hopefully, familiar with the process of recycling at home. However, it can often feel like quite a confusing and convoluted process, especially considering the fact that depending upon which county you’re based in, what you can and cannot recycle largely differs. Understanding how to dispose of your waste as responsibly as possible is therefore essential.

So, in the spirit of going green, here are several steps you can take towards becoming a recycling whizz.

1/ Suss out local regulations

Now, before all else, it’s essential that you’re clued up on your local councils recycling system. It’s highly likely that all and any information you might need will be available on their website, so before doing anything else, head over there for some guidance on what your council’s facilities can recycle.

It’s also important to remember that not all elements of one product’s packaging may be recyclable. For instance, whilst your average plastic bottle is widely recycled, the plastic cap for that bottle typically, however, is not recyclable.

A good idea is to make swaps wherever possible to a product which uses entirely recyclable materials in its packaging. For instance, swap your bog standard mineral water for an Everdurance water cartons, whose cap is made from sugar cane, meaning the whole thing can be conveniently tossed in your recycling!

2/ Keep it clean

Rinsing all of your food packaging before dropping it into your recycling bin is pretty important. Plastic, glass and aluminium containers are way easier to process if they’re clean. Plus, this should also help avoid any contamination which can spoil an entire collection of recycling. Many local councils may actually refuse to take your recycling if it’s evident that a large deal of its contents is dirty.

3/ Don’t take a shot in the dark

If you’re not 100% sure as to whether an item can be recycled or not, don’t make a guess and throw it in with your recycling. Always double check. This is very important, as including the incorrect items in your recycling can ruin the entire collection of material altogether, which means a one way ticket to landfill. Whilst you may feel as though materials which are so greatly prolific in our packaging ought to be recyclable (*cough* single use plastic *cough*) doesn’t mean, unfortunately, that those materials actually are.

If you’re feeling confused, you can also try out Scrapp, a brilliantly forward thinking app which shows you the correct way to sort your waste simply by scanning the barcodes of your packaging. The guidance it offers even adapts to your local councils recycling rules. Pretty cool, huh?

So, that’s about the top and bottom of it.

Despite the ambiguity surrounding recycling, it’s essential that we all do our bit to get it right and responsibly recycle as much of our waste as we possibly can. After all, with the climate crisis ever mounting and its effects increasingly being witnessed the world over, we all have our part to play. If you are interested in making the change away from plastic bottles, I'm sure Everdurance can help.


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