One of the most frustrating things in life is recycling (what you can and can’t recycle). I’ve just read an article in the Guardian on difficult to recycle stuff. I’m not going to recycle it (sic) here. It’s well worth a read and I don’t think I can improve on it. I’m just going to throw in a few comments about it.
Firstly of course as it says the best way is not to buy stuff like plastic in the first place – reduce or re-use. But this is expensive, time consuming and and in many cases difficult. It’s really up to the government and big business to make these changes not us. (It’s up to us to make sure they do.) A lot of stuff in the article we simply never buy – so there’s no problem.
Second. We have made a lot of progress. Think about the whole single use plastic bag to put your shopping in – you can still buy a plastic bag if you want. But that’s the point – you have to buy it. Or as the article says plastic has been removed from virtually all teabags (by the way I’m quite happy to compost these.) Yoghurt pots can also now be recycled. All this change – like a lot of change, has been incremental so you don’t recognise it when it’s happening and then suddenly it’s normal.
One area that is still confusing though is the recycling number on your plastic in the middle of the recycling symbol. It’s very hard to find out whether your council takes it and they vary. Yes that’s another frustration – you go on holiday and you find that another council doesn’t take what you can do at home. It can be quite basic when I lived in Glasgow recently there was no kerbside collection of glass (or food waste).
Another thing that is mentioned that’ll highlight in the article is cables and chargers. These maybe difficult to recycle but you can take them to a charity shop. We have one near that takes anything including electricals. Recently I took a load of stuff to the council dump. All of it went in for recycling (apparently) including the failed LED light-bulbs. Our council collects batteries and electricals (defined as small) with the kerbside glass. Larger stuff like bikes? Just bought a second-hand one from somewhere that recycles those and also their components.