Zero waste living can be challenging at times – so we put together a little guide help you find a solution to some of the most tricky items!
We all have to reduce our impact on the planet, it is a must. But do you ever find knowing how to recycle or even what you can or can’t recycle a challenge?
Knowing what can and can’t go in your household recycling is always the first hurdle to overcome. Luckily most if not all government councils can give you the guide to your area on their websites – so if you haven’t already looked go check it out. However, the next challenge is…what do you do with all the items that the council don’t accept?
Don’t worry we are here to help you solve this issue, refurbishing materials that already exist is a passion of ours which doesn’t begin nor end with our recycled fashion accessories. Although recycling/upcycling seatbelts, car seats and tyres is fun – we are just as passionate about recycling in our homes too!
Small Plastics and non-recyclable plastics
We are all working to reduce our waste unfortunately there are scenarios where the innovation for alternative plastics these are things to avoid, especially when it comes to products designed for hygiene and health. First off get to know your plastics – have a look at the diagram below which is a great guide to help you know what can and can’t be recycled.
Anything that can’t be recycled or is more difficult to recycle or even those smaller items like clothing tags – you can make into an Eco-Brick.
Ecobricks is a concept developed to help make single use plastic waste more circular by putting plastic waste into plastic bottles and using them in construction. It’s not a way to cure plastic pollution but a way to help manage the short term, while the innovations are being made. The concept reduces the surface area of plastic that is in contact with the environment – therefore reducing the amount of microplastics that are then leached into the environment. You can use them at home in your community or donate them via WasteAid.
Recycling Plastic Bags
Sometimes you end up with plastic bags without even meaning to. We have done some online food shops since covid hit and quite often the supermarkets put the frozen food in plastic bags to separate them – absolute nightmare! Luckily a lot of these supermarkets have recycling centres for not only plastic bags but for bread bags too! Just make sure they are clean and have no sticky labels on them. You can use Recycle Now to find the closest recycle station if you are unsure!
Many people are hitting up the homemade cappuccinos this past year with life being a bit upside down! Which means coffee machines are a go go. Luckily for Nespresso fans you can recycle all your coffee capsules by printing off a label and sending it off at a drop off spot - Click Here to find out more. Not only can you reduce your impact with these capsules but also Nespresso are committed to improving their sustainable and Fairtrade coffee practises. Although they are not perfect – they are seemingly working hard!
Crisp PacketsThese are a nightmare to recycle as they have so many different materials mixed together! Luckily Teracycle (If you haven’t checked them out before these guys recycle so many tricky things! They also have community representatives all over the country – collecting waste. If you become one you can earn money for a local charity!) and Walkers have come to the rescue with their new recycling scheme. So no need to put those pesky crisp packets in the bin – find your nearest recycling point here.
Finding the right bra – can help change a woman’s life but gifting your old bra can actually save a woman’s life. In some countries wearing a bra can stop a woman from being raped. Smalls for All collect bras that still have a lot more wear in them to woman who need them. Click here to find out more and learn how you can donate your bra.
Old pensSometimes you just end up with so many free pens and you don’t know what to do with them once the ink has run out! Luckily the hero’s at Teracycle have partnered with BIC to help recycle and reuse our plastic pens. All you have to do is find a local drop off station near you – click here to have a peak!
100% Cotton Pads can’t be recycled and can only be composted when they haven’t been used with chemicals or to remove makeup. This means that this natural material is then destined for a life in landfill. An alternative to this is using washable and reusable cotton or bamboo rounds you can purchase them from LaPomme.
Sticky notes are a tricky one to recycle. The glue is difficult to remove in the recycling process and often make it not possible to recycle effectively. Due to the chemicals in the sticky notes – they are not able to compost these either as there is a high-risk that toxic chemicals will leach into the ground. So a great option is to give up your standard sticky notes and move to reusable ones such as these. If you are currently using any sticky notes then you can always pop that waste into an Eco Brick in the meantime.
Thermal paper receipts are an absolute nightmare for the environment. They are usually coated with chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol S (BPS), which are toxic to the environment if released in large doses. The way to avoid this is to ask for your receipts to be emailed to you if at all possible by the store. Less paper use and less chemical use – perfect!
Hope these tips have been useful!
If you have anymore please don't hesitate to email them in to firstname.lastname@example.org - we are always on the lookout for new suggestions on how to make our lives kinder to the planet.
Thanks for reading.
Char and Maria