Recycling in the UK

Every other week we have a curb-side collection for recyclables. Our local council recycles glass bottles and jars, hard plastics like bottles, metal tins and cans, cardboard and paper.

There’s a local recycling centre nearby where you can drop off bigger things like electrical appliances, old bikes, household stuff, that sort of thing. And in some of the supermarkets you can recycle things like batteries.

But there seems to be a heck of a lot that DOESN’T get recycled which could be.

Have you heard of TerraCycle? I’ve heard of them before, they run schemes across the country to get you to recycle ‘other’ things that wouldn’t normally get recycled such as bread bag recycling, kids food pouches, sweets and crisp packets etc.

The trouble is that you drop them off at your local collection point and there aren’t any that are really close to me. I just feel it defeats the object if I have to travel by car for an hour to drop off a few bags of crisp packets!!

And unfortunately we don’t have the space to become a collection point ourselves 😦

But, I am determined to save up some things and maybe, on the off-chance that I ACTUALLY get to travel anywhere after the year we’ve all had, then maybe I could make an extra stop.

One thing I want to start saving is medicine blister packs…you know, the plastic packs that your tablets come in. I wouldn’t have thought they could be recycled but apparently they can.

Did you know you can recycle Marigold washing up gloves too? I’ve just seen a local collection for toothpaste tubes. Exciting times!

Photo by mali maeder on

One really good idea I’ve seen is the recycling boxes by TerraCycle UK. Basically you buy a box, fill it up with a specific kind of recyclables, then use the pre-paid label to post it back. This would be great for food places like restaurants and cafes to recycle crisp packets, sweet packets all the usual items. There’s even a box which accepts Christmas ornaments including broken ones, bottle caps, garden waste, arts and crafts, a box for VHS tapes and cassettes…

These would be ideal for schools, restaurants, hotels, some zero waste shops and even other shops as well, maybe libraries…all sorts. Including in your home – they are not cheap though, the smaller boxes start at £120, depending on exactly what you want to recycle, but if you agreed to collect your street’s coffee pods for example, then if every chipped in £5 or £10, it would soon reduce the costs.

I really like this idea, especially the one to recycle disposable face masks – you see them everywhere on the ground now.

Have a look for yourself and see what you think:

I’d love to look into this more and find out some of the stats for a scheme like this.

You can see a general list of TerraCycle’s UK recycling programmes here:

And don’t forget Earth Hour is coming up soon too…


Saturday – Short and Sweet

Want to know what to do with those craft magazines apart from recycling them at your local paper bank?

Easy! Turn them into Button Badges!!

A few years ago I bought a badge maker and messed around with it for awhile and then got bored…it’s languishing under my bed at the moment! But I did make a few badges for my needle case (for knitting needles I mean) before the badge press got relegated to under the bed.