Recycling Plastic: A Guide for Eco-Conscious Consumers

Over recent years there has been a significant spike in consumer awareness of the negative impacts of single use plastic packaging.

Thankfully, alongside this there has been an increase in curbside recycling services and recycling points.



When was curbside recycling introduced in the UK?


In around 2005, councils started introducing recycling bins to the streets of Great Britain. However, recycling sacks were around before then. Since then, millions of tonnes of recycling have been collected from our streets.



Can plastic packaging be sustainable?


It may shock you to learn, that plastic packaging is often more sustainable than paper (though, this does not include single-use, non-recyclable, or biodegradable plastic!). If you’d like to learn more about bio-degradable plastics, please click here to read our blog.


This is because plastic packaging, such as online shopping crates, are created once, and can be reused hundreds of times over their lifetime. Then, at the end of their useful life, they can be recycled.


This is a stark contrast to other alternatives, such as biodegradable plastics, that are made to be used once or twice, and then cannot be recycled at the end of their lifetime.



Sourcing materials:


Considering the source of the plastic used is also important. For example, ocean prevented plastics, are plastics that have been prevented from entering and polluting the ocean.

This is a better choice than harvesting a new material.



Recycled content:


The recycled content and recyclability of a product is a very important considerations to make. Products such as the Springpack Blue Ocean Film are made with 100% recycled, and 100% recyclable materials.


Plastic void-fill products, such as the Blue Ocean films, also have the additional benefit of an average 82.9% less overall void-fill material going into the package when compared to paper.


Curbside Recycling:


Curbside recycling is the most common method of domestic recycling to date. Frequent council collections ensure that it’s never been easier to pop it in the wheelie bin and wave goodbye to your recyclable products.


Different councils collect different materials as part of their recycling schemes, so it’s always good to check on your local council’s website what can and can’t go into your recycling bin.



Recyclable at Larger Supermarkets or Recycling Centre:


Soft mixed plastics, such as single-use plastic bags and plastic wrapping are not always curbside recyclable but have been accepted at recycling centres for years. With the shift in awareness towards the importance of recycling, soft plastic packaging recycling areas have been popping up in supermarkets, such as Tesco, for the last few years.


These easy-to-access collection points have aided in the recycling of thousands of tonnes of plastic carrier bags, food containers, crisp packets and more. If you are looking to recycle non-curbside recyclable plastics, click here to find a recycling plastic centre near me.


How do I dispose of Air Cushion Packing?


Springpack Blue Ocean Air Cushion Film can easily be recycled after deflating with carrier bags at larger supermarkets, or recycling centres. This means it is incredibly easy for the end user to dispose of.



How do I recycle grey plastic bags from courier packaging?


Grey plastic bags from couriers are often made from LDPE and can be recycled at your local recycling centre, or a large supermarket alongside soft plastics, such as carrier bags.



How do I recycle bubble wrap packaging?


Bubblewrap can be reused many times before it’s needed for recycling. When it does require recycling, this can easily be done at your local recycling centre or alongside carrier bags at larger supermarkets.



How do I recycle pallet wrap?


Pallet wrap is often made from LDPE and is recyclable at your local recycling centre or at a large supermarket alongside carrier bags. Pallet wrap is one of the easiest to recycle plastics, as it rarely comes into contact with contaminants.



Is plastic foam packaging recyclable?


Plastic foam packaging is usually made from LDPE and can be recycled at larger supermarkets and recycling centres.



We hope this guide has been useful to you, and has explained how plastic can be more sustainable, and how to dispose of it at the end of it’s lifecycle. Please consider sharing this article to Linkedin, or Twitter. Why not view our blog on the Best Way to Recycle Packaging Materials 

*Every council has different rules and regulations on what can and cannot be curbside recycled. We strongly recommend you check with your local council before recycling your packaging.

Questions about recycling? Contact Springpack using the form below!

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