Top 10 Recycling Tips

  • Written by Alicia Drewnicki
  • September 18, 2019
  • 4 min read

Recycle Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of recycling. The year’s theme is “Recycling. It’s in our own hands”, and there’s never been a more important time for us to take action.

Did you know that an estimated 91% of plastic isn’t recycled? (source) Worse still, by 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish. (Source)

Whether its rinsing, ripping, sorting, crushing, smashing, flattening, or even upcycling – there are so many things you can do around the home to make a difference.

Here are our top 10 Honestly Good recycling tips:


1) Take 10 minutes to swot up…

Confused about what you can and can’t recycle? You’re not alone. Recycling rules vary throughout the country, based on local councils’ circumstances (i.e. budget, resources, housing in their area, storage capacity, contracts with reprocessors etc)

Cut the confusion by taking 10 minutes to go to your local council’s (UK) website to find out what you can and can’t recycle.


2) Flatten cardboard boxes (and keep it dry!)

Flattening cardboard boxes can save a huge amount of room in your recycle bin, so either unfold, or snip the sides and flatten to save space. Also, remember not to leave it out in the rain, as wet cardboard clogs up automated recycling machines.


3) Wash, Screw, and Squash!

Whether it’s sauces, soft drinks, cooking oil, or  washing up liquid bottles – make sure you give them a quick rinse to wash out visible residue. This helps the recycling process further down the line, as bottles with too much residue can be deemed too heavy by the automated sorting process, and liquids can damage machinery, or contaminate other recyclables).

After rinsing, remember to screw plastic lids back on, as on their own, they can be too small to make it through the sorting machines.

Finally- where possible, squash bottles to save more room in your bin, and help stop them rolling off the sorting machine conveyor belt.


4) Avoid black plastic when you can

Did you know that black plastic isn’t detected by the infra-red sensors used in sorting? Avoid buying these when possible and opt for easily recyclable alternatives. If you’re confused by the logos on the back of packets, here are two handy charts by RecycleNow and Which.

Recycling Symbols


5) Compost at home

Reduce waste and help your garden by investing in a compost bin. You can compost fruit, vegetables, cardboard, grass cuttings, weeds, coffee grounds, black and white newspaper, egg shells, and much more. Here’s a handy list by Small Footprint Family or 100 things you can compost. 


6) Invest in your own coffee cup and water bottle

Consumers around the world use an estimated 600 billion plastic and paper cups each year, and while some may be recyclable, the majority aren’t. The reason being that many paper cups have a plastic coating to make them leak-proof, and that coating can’t be separated from the paper. As well as this, many paper cups have chemicals that can be toxic to the environment. Millions of non-biodegradable cups end up in landfill, and worst of all—the ocean.

Before opting for a “quick takeout”, consider an Honestly Good approach of buying your own coffee and water cups/bottles that you can re-use time and time again. We like Ecoffee Cup and their colourful range.


7) Use your food waste

Instead of chucking away food waste, get creative in the kitchen with your leftovers, and you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also help save the planet. The fantastic “Love Food Hate Waste” have a great resource for food waste, including recipes such as “Potato Peel Soup”, and “Zero Waste Potato and Veggie Hash”. You can read more here.


8) Instead of throwing away – Share.

We love the app Olio that allows you to list items that you’re not going to use, instead of throwing them away. It could be anything from bread rolls, spaghetti, apples, or even household goods too.

In addition to this, check out TooGoodToGo, which helps restaurants and stores combat waste by selling off goods at the end of the day for a discounted price (that they’d usually throw away).


9) Reduce the amount of packaging you buy

The power is in your hands to control which products you buy – so look out for products with less packaging. Buy loose fruit and veg, refill your washing liquids, and get into the habit of taking reusable bags to the supermarket with you.


10) Upcycle

Get creative and start upcyclying! Did you know pallets make great patio seating?  Lightbulbs can become hanging vases? We’re forever inspired by the amazing


So that’s it! 10 top recycling tips that’ll help you make an impact at home. Recycle Week runs from 23/09/2109 – 29/09/19 so be  sure to keep an eye on the hashtag #recycleweek for lots more tips from our friends at Recycle Now.

Written by
Alicia Drewnicki
Head of Content at The Honestly Good Smoothie Co.
Favourite smoothie: The Almond Tart One
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