Plastic bottles - the only plastic for your recycling bin!
You can recycle ALL plastic bottles including:
- Plastic Milk bottles
- Plastic Drinks bottles
- Shampoo and Conditioner bottles
- Detergent / Washing Liquid bottles
- Fabric Softener bottles
- Shower Gel bottles
- Bubble Bath bottles
- Bleach and other household cleaners
- Household Weedkiller bottles
Please DO NOT recycle any other plastics in your home recycling bin including:
- Plastic bags (take back to supermarket)
- Plastic wrapping (clean may be recycled with bags at supermarket)
- Plastic Food wrapping (clean may be recycled with bags at supermarket)
- Drinks bottle lids (some charity collections exist - please check locally)
- Yoghurt pots
- Margarine/butter tubs
- Fruit containers/punnets
- Herb and spice containers
- Food trays
- Hard plastics (try reusing/giving away toys, buckets, flower pots etc.)
- Video tapes (try charity shops)
- Any other plastics
Why are all plastics not included in our recycling bin?
There are more than 60 different types of plastic in circulation and all have different properties according to their uses. Some are designed for high pressure (fizzy drinks bottles) and some are designed for rigidity (food containers).
Plastic bottles are mostly made from three types of plastic:
- PET (clear and blue e.g. squash bottles)
- HDPE (cream colour e.g. milk bottles)
- PP (many mixed types e.g. shampoo bottles)
There is a high demand for these types of plastic from companies that reprocess bottles to make new plastic products. More plastics may be recycled in the future in Norfolk, but currently this is not possible via your kerbside bin.
The label says it can be recycled but it's not a bottle - what should I do?
Only plastic bottles can go in your recycling bin. Just because the label has a recycle logo on it doesn't mean it can be recycled in your household recycle bin. Above is a list of some of the plastic bottles that we can accept in household recycling bins. Please rinse and remove lids (lids go in the rubbish bin or some charity collections exist)
Why do we not include bottle lids, yoghurt pots and plastic bags?
Bottle lids, yoghurt pots and plastic bags are all made from different kinds of plastic from the plastic in plastic bottles. These will all contaminate Norfolk's recycling stream.
What can I do with plastic that can't be recycled?
Avoid buying products packaged in extra plastic where possible, and reuse containers like margarine tubs. Toys and video tapes may be given to charity or offered free on certain internet sites (do a search for local forums to advertise free items or sell them on). If this isn't possible, put waste plastic items in your waste bin where they will go to landfill. Clean plastic film can be recycled with plastic carrier bags at your local supermarket (eg junk mail wrapping or bread bags).
Where do the plastic bottles go to and what happens to them?
The three types of plastic bottle Clear (PET), Milk (HDPE) and Mixed (PP) are sorted at the MRF. They are then baled up and sold to companies in England and Europe where they are processed into new products. Many items are now on sale made from recycled products such as plastic bottles. Items such as furniture, clothing, home insulation are just a few or you can or sleep under recycled plastic bottles with a duvet made from them. Some workplaces and schools now offer uniform made from recycled plastic bottles. All this is possible because of the high quality of the plastic used which ensures a premium material capable of being recycled in this way. Recycling plastic bottles is the most sustainable and stable market for plastics at this time.
Remember only plastic bottles go in your home recycle bin - no other plastics. Don't forget to include your paper, card and tins as normal.