With the new year underway plastic pollution is very much at the fore-front of our minds in 2019. And although we aim to reduce our impact on the environment as much as possible, working out what can and what can’t be recycled can be a little mind boggling.

A recent survey by the British Science Association reflected similar sentiments, reporting that although people are willing to recycle household waste, many are confused over what that includes. Failing to grasp the basics means a lot of recyclable waste is going in to landfills. For example did you know that recycled aerosol cans can have a new life as parts for a mobile phone? Or that kitchen cleaner bottles can be recycled into things like a garden slide?

To help you avoid any future blunders, England’s national recycling campaign Recycle Now have rounded up a list of the top items that people often forget to recycle:

• Kitchen foil and foil trays which are used but still clean
• Metal lids
• Washing-up liquid bottles – empty and rinse
• Empty and flatten dishwasher tablet boxes and kitchen wrap boxes
• Empty tissue boxes – remove any plastic insert and flatten
• Empty deodorant aerosols and hairspray – ensure empty and remove plastic caps (recycle with plastics)
• Toothpaste boxes – flatten
• Toilet roll tubes – flatten
• Plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles – empty and rinse items, replace lids/tops
• Shower gel containers – empty and rinse items, replace lids/tops

• Liquid soap bottles – empty, rinse and remove pump dispenser (throw pump into the rubbish bin)
• Old magazines
• Envelopes
• Newspapers
• Cardboard packaging from online shopping – remove packaging tape and flatten
• Aerosols tins of furniture polish and air fresheners – ensure empty and remove plastic caps (recycle with plastics)
• Surface cleaner bottles, bathroom cleaner and bleach bottles (empty and rinse – even the spray dispenser can be recycled)
• Shaving foam
• Hand soap bottles (but remember you can’t recycle the pump dispenser)
• Moisturiser bottles

Common errors when it comes to the ‘recycling
no’s’ are:

• Cotton wool
• Mirrors
• Toothpaste tubes
• Nappies
• Tissues
• Wet wipes / face wipes
• Plastic toys
• Soap pump dispenser tops
• Kitchen roll
• Shiny/metallised wrapping paper
• Coffee cups
• Glass that isn’t a bottle or jar e.g. window glass, drinking and wine glasses and glass cookware

• Plastic bags
• Straws
• Greasy takeaway pizza boxes
• Soft plastic / metallic packaging like pet food pouches
• Photo paper
• Non-paper gift wrap
• Nail varnish bottles
• Crisp packets
• Post-it notes
• Shampoo bottles that have not been rinsed
• Food containers that have not been rinsed

Recycling is all about helping the planet and it would be a shame to hinder-it as a result of a misunderstanding. So to avoid any confusion, why not print-off this list and pop on your fridge? Plus if like us, trying to decipher the code on the back of the products is another stumbling block on your journey to becoming a Recycling Queen, check out this (recyclenow.com) helpful explanation on the different symbols and what they mean.

Once you have successfully recycled the correct items into the correct bins, ever wondered what happens next? The SurfGirl team are off to the local recycling centre to find out! Stay tuned for more on what happens to our recycling, where it goes and what happens at recycling centres.