Do you recycle? Tips on how to recycle more efficiently

A large percentage of UK households still do not recycle enough and throw everything that they consider ‘rubbish’ into their ordinary bin. Much of this waste can be recycled and should be disposed of separately to general household waste.

Improving the environmental footprint for materials industries – plastics as well as steel, aluminum, cement and even food production – is crucial to achieving global climate goals, according to a new report from Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

“Switching to renewable energy plays a vital role in addressing climate change, but this alone will not be enough,” said Ellen MacArthur, founder of the group. “In order to achieve targets on climate, it is critical that we transform how we design, make, and use products and food.” “The use of recycled materials reduces the demand for virgin materials, while the processing of recycled aggregates can generate 40-70 percent fewer CO2 emissions compared to virgin aggregates,” the report said.

It said that reusing recycled materials could remove 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 per year by 2050, with the report assuming a 28 percent recycling rate for plastics overall from mechanical processes and 21 percent from chemical recycling.

Do you recycle? Are there recycling facilities available in your area? In the UK, each council has different recycling amenities and therefore the residents need to check which items are acceptable in their recycling bins. Sadly this issue makes domestic recycling complicated and frustrating for most of us.

Here are a few tips to help improve the way we recycle:


  • Scrape out any food remains/pour away excess liquid.
  • Rinse the container (use your washing-up water)
  • Don’t put recyclable items in the dishwasher – there is no need to waste resources to achieve better cleanliness.


  • Crush metal cans.
  • Squeeze plastic bottles flat to expel as much air as possible.

These steps help prevent contamination and reduce the volume of recyclable items, making collections more energy efficient.

To find out what you can recycle in your area or where you can take an item for recycling, you can check your council’s website.
To read more about the recycling process have a look at

Below is an example of the recycling guidelines from my local council.

Do you recycle? Share in the comments below or get in touch with me on Twitter @elenadaniilidou .

Elena Daniilidou

Elena is an ethical vegan and minimalist advocating for sustainable and slow living.

View all posts by Elena Daniilidou →
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