Business support and advice
Support and advice for businesses affected by COVID-19.

What plastic can I recycle?

Recycling symbol

After a decade of strong growth, household recycling rates have dropped over the last few years with the UK recycling rate levelling off at around 44% since 2013. Recycling rates need to increase to meet the UK target set for England of 50% by 2020. In Preston, household recycling rates were at 29.68% in 2017/18.

Around 90% of the plastic from recycling collected in Lancashire is processed within the UK. Of the small amount that goes overseas, the bulk goes to a well-established operation in Spain that makes it into new plastic products. Some trial loads, comprised of a few tonnes of sample material, have gone to other countries. None of these trials went on to become regular export contracts.

Bins and boxes containing incorrect materials will not be emptied. Non-recyclable materials will contaminate the whole vehicle load of recyclable waste. Where this occurs all the material will have to go through a much more expensive treatment process and may still be landfilled.

What you can recycle

The following plastic items can be placed in your yellow lidded recycling box:

  • Pop bottles
  • Detergent bottles
  • Plastic bottles (e.g. detergent, bleach, shampoo, milk, pop, yoghurt, medicine)
  • Car oil and antifreeze bottles (must be EMPTY with lids TIGHTLY on)
  • Plastic lids (either on or off the bottles)
  • Plastic tubs (e.g. margarine, ice cream, Christmas chocolates) no film lids
  • Plastic pots (e.g. yoghurt, soup) no film lids
  • Plastic trays /punnets (e.g. ready meals, meat trays,  fruit /veg punnets) no film lids or polystyrene trays
  • Plastic items with numbers ♻ 1(PET), ♻ 2 (HDPE) or ♻ 5 (PP)
  • Makeup containers
  • Plant pots

What you can't recycle

The following plastic items should not be placed in the yellow lidded recycling bin / box and should be disposed of in the grey bin:

  • plastic wrapping or carrier bags
  • Plastic wrappers
  • Film lids on from plastic pots and trays
  • Absorbent pads from the bottom of plastic trays
  • Polystyrene
  • nappies

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