Cutting the Confusion - Frequently Asked Questions

As part of RECOUP, Pledge2Recycle Plastics has over 30 years of experience in the plastic resources and recycling industry. Using a wide network of members we are able to ask the experts and find the facts behind the headlines and provide evidence-based responses to many plastic recycling questions. 

If you have a question that isn't listed please contact us and we will seek out the answer for you.

Why do I need to put the tops back on the bottles before recycling

The tops go with the bottles to the reprocessor where they are cut up into flakes and the bottle and tops (which are different plastics) are separated before they are turned into pellets.   The pellets made from the bottle themselves are then sent to either make new bottles.   The pellets made from the tops are sent to go into garden furniture or items for construction such as piping or traffic cones.  


How clean does my recycling need to be?

At the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) all the mixed dry recycling is sorted by type (paper, cardboard, steel cans, aluminium cans, and plastics).   This process involves a lot of complex machinery which gets covered in the residue and dirt that householders place in their recycling bins.   This residue can cause machinery to breakdown.   Many UK MRF’s also have a section where the material is hand sorted, so not a pleasant job if the material is covered in food remains.   Remember also that the cleaner the recycling is the greater the quality and higher value the material will be to the recycler.   It also keeps your bin clean if you empty, rinse and dry before recycling.  


What should I do with trigger sprays in my kitchen and bathroom cleaning products?

Again, empty, rinse (if you can) and put the trigger spray back in.


Can I recycle my bleach bottles?

Yes, same applies, make sure they are empty and put the top back on.


What do I do with the film lid on food, fruit, and vegetable punnets?

Remove the film lid and the absorbent layer and put these into general waste as these are not recyclable at the moment.   Make sure the tray or punnet is empty, clean, and dry and recycle.


Where can I recycle my carrier bags, and bread bags?

Many UK Supermarkets are now taking carrier bags and bread bags etc. in their front of store collections.   Please look for the OPRL label on your soft plastics and wrappings and check the following links for your nearest store



'Pots, Tubs and Trays' - what are they?

Examples of these are:
Soup or yoghurt pots, meat or fruit/veg trays, margarine and plastic ice-cream tubs. 

Read more here

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