Odd items - what can I do with them?

It's pretty easy to recycle bottles and lids, but what about those tricky every day items that are hard to dispose of? Here's some guidance to help you keep our planet tidy...

1. Beauty items

There are various ways to recycle makeup and beauty items. Terracycle offer various schemes, including a personal care and beauty scheme for beauty product packaging. This includes: wipes and single use mask packaging, roll on deodorant packaging, pots and flexible beauty product tubes and beauty caps, pumps and trigger sprays. Find out more about the scheme here. They also offer a makeup recycling scheme for empty makeup packaging here.

Various shops also offer a recycling point for beauty and makeup, such as The Body Shop, Boots, and a Maybelline scheme offering collection points at stores like Tesco and Sainsburys. Find your nearest recycling station here. You could also try buying makeup in recyclable containers, such as bottles, or glass containers or even refillable makeup which can be found online.

2. Coffee machine pods

Coffee machine pods are recyclable through various Terracycle schemes. Find them here: Tassimo and L’OR, Ueshima, Lavazza. You could also consider buying reusable pods (found online, and available for most coffee machines) or consider a bean to cup machine if you are yet to buy one.

3. Crisp packets

Crisp packets are recyclable through Terracycle here. Companies are also starting to develop crisp packets that are fully home compostable — so, why not have a look for them?

4. Disposable razors

Gillette and Venus have partnered with Terracycle to provide a method for the public to recycle their disposable razors, although it works differently to the rest of the Terracycle schemes: people are able to register with Gillette and they will be sent a freepost envelope to fill and send back.

An option for shaving that creates no plastic waste is to switch to an old fashioned ‘safety razor’ that uses razor blades. These can be found online or in some drugstore / health and beauty focused shops. The only waste that a safety razor produces is the metal blade that can be easily recycled. We recommend that you are careful with how you recycle your blades as they are still very sharp, even when dull, so collecting them all up and recycling them at the Household Recycling Centres scrap metal banks would be the best option.

5. Electrical plastics (plastic toasters, hair dryers etc.)

Check your district to see if they accept small WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) at your kerbside. WEEE are also accepted at all of the council's Household Recycling Centres.

Larger retailers that sell electronic equipment are also required to take back ‘very small WEEE’ (less that 25cm on their longest side) regardless if you are buying something, and also they must offer to take back waste of the same item as you are buying from them (e.g. a washing machine if that is what you are purchasing).

You could also think about selling the item online if it is still working, or donating it to a reuse or charity shop that accepts electricals.

6. Kid's food and yogurt pouches

Terracycle have partnered with Ella’s kitchen and Danone to offer baby food and children's yoghurt pouch recycling.

7. Medicine blister packs

Terracycle has launched a new scheme to accept medicine packaging which includes any empty medicine blister packets. Find your nearest drop off point here.

8. Nappies

Disposable nappies are not yet recyclable in the UK, but you could choose to switch to cloth / 'real’ / reusable nappies. GCC have a scheme to help parents get started with reusable nappies and you can find all of the information needed, including how to get £30 off a £50 spend of reusable nappies here.

10. Pens

Terracycle has a scheme for writing instruments. You could also consider switching to digital methods of notetaking where possible to avoid creating excess waste.

11. Pet food pouches

Cleaned out pet food pouches are recyclable using Terracycle — see where your nearest drop off is. You could also consider switching to pet food in tins which could be recycled at your kerbside.

12. Plant pots

Some garden centres offer a takeback scheme to recycle plant pots. Visit their website or ask in store to find out if your local garden centre has a scheme in place. The butterfly garden also accept plant pots for recycling. It is also becoming easier to buy plants in biodegradable pots to avoid plastic completely. Why not look for these next time you are buying a plant?

13. Plastic film/bags

No districts accept thin film like plastic for recycling at kerbside. You are able to recycle them at the majority of large supermarkets, along with carrier bags.

14. Takeaway pots

Some districts accept plastic takeaway pots for recycling at kerbside. Check your local collection to find out. You could also consider reusing them to avoid them going to waste. They are great for storing leftovers in the fridge or freezer!

15. Toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes

Toothbrush recycling is available through Terracycle: Toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, floss packaging and electric heads are recyclable through this scheme.

Electric tootbrush heads, electric flosser heads, flossing sticks and interdental sticks and floss containers are recyclable here. Alternatively, you could switch to wooden/bamboo toothbrushes that are compostable in home composting and can be found for as little as £2 online and in some retailers.


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