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A Lot a Bottle! - Recycling Plastic Bottles

UK households only recycle half of the plastic bottles we use. Recycling just one more plastic bottle a week can make a huge difference to the environment. Look around your home to see what other bottles you can recycle...

Did you know that UK households only recycle half of the plastic bottles they use? You might assume that these days, plastic bottles are one of the most commonly recycled items but of the 480 plastic bottles used by the average household each year, only 270 are recycled. This means a whopping 44% are still being put in the rubbish bin.

A lot of people are recycling their plastic bottles a lot of the time, but there is a lot more we can do. You may not realise how much of a difference you can make by recycling something as simple as a plastic bottle. 

The Ecological Benefits of Recycling Plastic

Each recycled plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a light bulb for 3 hours. If each of the approximately 18.9 million households in the UK recycled just one more plastic bottle per week, we could save enough energy to provide more than 57 million hours of light!

A lot of recyclable materials, including plastic are often sent to China. This may sound environmentally unsound but it’s actually no bad thing. As the biggest manufacturer in the world, China regularly sends container ships full of products to the UK. Instead of these huge ships travelling thousands of miles back to China empty, the cost is offset by filling them with recyclable materials.

In this way unwanted items like our old plastic bottles are recycled  and transformed into new products, including our range of reusable bags made from recycled bottles, fleeces, buckets and furniture which are then sold in new markets.

Increased recycling rates also reduces waste and the amount of rubbish going into landfill, as well as giving plastic a second life. All of which are great results for the environment!

Recycling Around the Home

Some plastic bottles tend to get recycled more than others. Try looking around your home and make sure that you are recycling everything you can.

Recycling rates for fizzy drinks and milk bottles are much higher than for bottles that are used in other parts of the home - particularly the bathroom and the cleaning cupboard. These tend to be overlooked, particularly cleaning products as householders think they aren't suitable for recycling because their contents may be an irritant, but this isn't the case. 

There are a huge number of plastic bottles and containers from around your home that can be recycled - don't forget about: 

  • Shampoo bottles
  • Hand soap dispensers
  • Bathroom/kitchen cleaner bottles
  • Bleach bottles
  • Washing up liquid bottles 

5 Tips for Recycling Plastic Bottles

1. Firstly, make sure the bottles are empty

2. Give them a quick rinse (no need to remove labels though)

3. Squash the bottles to save space in your recycling bin (then put the lids back on)

4. If you’re on the go; pop your plastic bottle in a bag and recycle it when you get home rather than chucking it in a waste bin.

5. If you are not sure whether you can recycle plastic bottles at home check out the Recycling Locator.

Do your bit and contribute to reducing plastic waste, saving energy and protecting the environment by recycling more. Challenge yourself and see if you can recycle 1 more plastic bottle each week 

For more information about your local recycling scheme, visit Recycle Now to find out about your local recycling facilities.


Find out more...

See how plastic is recycled to form the basis of Non-woven PP eco-friendly material: How is a Bag for Life Made?

The environmental impact of 3 types of  plastic shopping bag: The Story of Three Little Bags

Browse our rPET Bag Range - Each bag is made from 3 Recycled plastic bottles!

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