Help & Advice > Recycling Locator: What and Where You Can Recycle
In an ideal world, every item of packaging would be recyclable as it would dramatically reduce our reliance on raw materials, and then would minimise our impact on the environment. A material being recyclable is only half the battle though, as it has to actually get recycled in the correct way and correct place.
So, you’ve noticed this symbol on your packaging and know that means it can be recycled, but is it accepted in your curbside recycling collection? Or is there a local recycling bank you can drop it off at? Follow the instructions below on our recycling locator widget to discover more about what you can recycle and where:
As you can see, recyclable packaging isn’t limited to paper and cardboard based items – in fact it may surprise you, but all LDPE based materials, like lightweight, flexible plastic packaging are recyclable too. Here are some of the most popular questions we get on if, how, and where you can recycle packaging items, and how to use our recycling locator widget to find out:
Recycling Cardboard Boxes
Cardboard boxes will be some of the most used packaging items you encounter on a daily basis – and the good news is, they’re really eco friendly too. Cardboard as a material is fully recyclable and biodegradable too as it is made up from paper fibres – but the good news doesn’t stop there. All corrugated cardboard in the UK contains a minimum of 75% recycled content, but in most cases this is around 80% – so we’re putting the cardboard we’re recycling straight back into use and reducing our reliance on new and raw materials!
Whilst cardboard is obviously plastic free, a lot of cardboard boxes you receive through the post may have been sealed with plastic tape. We would advise you to remove this before recycling cardboard boxes as it can cause the shredders to jam if there is a big build up of the sticky adhesive. More businesses are starting to use paper tape to seal their boxes though which is great news as there’s no need for separation and it can be recycled along with the boxes in one go. Happy days!
Recycling Bubble Wrap
Despite providing excellent protection to fragile and delicate products in transit and being great fun to relieve some stress by popping the bubbles, bubble wrap gets a bad name in the eco packaging world – and it’s not entirely justified. Yes, bubble wrap is made from plastic, and yes, in terms of eco friendly packaging, plastic isn’t the best material. However, bubble wrap is made from low density polyethylene (or LDPE to you and me), which is exactly the same material as what carrier bags and bread bags are made from (they just don’t have the fun bubbles to pop) – and these can be recycled relatively easily. LDPE most likely won’t be collected in your curbside recycling, but you’ll usually find a recycling drop off for LDPE materials in your local supermarkets. When you use the widget above, select carrier bags or bread bags from the list of materials and enter your postcode to find your closest drop off location.
Recycling Poly Mailers
The same goes for poly mailers too – poly mailing bags are made from LDPE and can be taken to any drop-off centres along with your carrier bags, bread bags, and surplus bubble wrap to be recycled. Increasingly, poly mailers are being made from recycled materials, and some have around 75% recycled content. We know that for some businesses, poly mailers are the only packaging solution, so we’ve designed and manufactured some which are made entirely from post consumer waste, so 100% recycled content, and can be fully recycled again. Get in touch if you’d like us to help you with creating a similar product for your business.
If you need any help finding recyclable packaging, check out our guide to finding some simple sustainable swaps or get in touch with us – ecommerce operations are our speciality, we’ll be more than happy to help.