Consumer recycling

Most households now have access to recycling collections, which enable consumers to get at least some of their packaging waste recycled. In addition, there are still ‘bring bank’ sites in supermarket car parks and scattered around the country in various locations accessible to the public. A network of Civic Amenity sites also allows any member of the public to dispose of their household waste no matter what it is. These operate very high levels of recycling and will ensure that most types of packaging get recycled.

Of course, not all packaging is easily recycled everywhere in the country. Council collection schemes vary hugely and it is often very difficult to get plastic food containers recycled, for instance. Pressure is growing, both from Europe and within the UK, to increase facilities that will eventually ensure that all types of packaging are kept out of landfill.

2011 waste review

The Government is undertaking a Review of Waste and intends to publish its results in May 2011. This is likely to lead to higher recycling targets for both businesses and local authorities, but the emphasis is changing from tonnage targets to carbon targets. Landfill contributes heavily to greenhouse gas emissions and the Government has a requirement to reduce the UK’s Carbon Footprint. So more recycling will equal less carbon being released to the atmosphere and less Global Warming.

Recycling in your area

It is impossible to generalise on exactly what can be recycled in each part of the country and you should check with your local authority what they will collect.

It is also possible to find out where there are recycling facilities for different materials by going to This also gives clear instructions on what can and can’t be recycled and a host of other useful information.

Further information

You can also visit these other websites where you will find information about packaging, its uses, ways of getting it recycled and the Regulations that affect it. You can also find out more about what the Government is doing.

Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (Incpen)
Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
RECOUP – Plastics packaging
Steel can recycling
Alupro – Aluminium can recycling
Paper recycling
Glass recycling

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