How Can I Recycle Cardboard and Plastic?

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Although some cardboards and plastic products can be disposed of by putting them into your recycling bin at home, there is still a lot of confusion around what types of cardboard and plastic can be recycled.


While plastic disposal generally includes bottles, food trays and yoghurt pots, people still aren’t sure what to do with plastic wrapping and cling film, which isn’t normally included in your recycling collection. Plastic wrapping can be recycled. But, local councils don’t have the machinery to deal with the separation process and the lightweight material can become caught up in the machinery and cause damage, or delays.

Clean, dry plastic that’s been used to cover furniture or pallets, clean bin bags, bubble wrap and plastic frozen food bags can all be recycled by specialist companies. You might have to put them in the post if there isn’t a company in your area, but for the price of stamp or two, it does mean you are disposing of your waste responsibly.

Recycling plastics can now be done at the same time as your supermarket shop. Most of the leading supermarkets now have recycling collection points where you can dispose of plastics, including carrier bags, plastic wrappers from multi-pack bottles and cans, and kitchen and toilet rolls. Each collection point has a list of what can and can’t be recycled.

Of course, if you really don’t want to add to the landfill, but you find yourself constantly left with plastics that can’t be recycled, you can get creative. Crisps bags, for instance, have been used to make Christmas decorations, book covers, jewellery, bags and even clothes!


The type of cardboard you will be able to throw away in your recycling bin will come from things like pizza boxes, egg containers, cereal packets and boxes that are used to deliver items through the post. If you are cardboard recycling, then it’s important to make sure that the cardboard is clean and dry.

Pizza boxes are good examples. If they are dirty or greasy, with food stuck on them, don’t put them in the recycling bin. This is because during the process of papermaking, if oil is included in the mix it will damage the paper and cause holes or spots, so the batch can’t be used.

Cardboard recycling companies can help you to dispose of large boxes that might not fit into your recycle bin. You might have a large number of boxes because you have just moved house, or you have taken delivery of a new kitchen or bathroom.

Companies who use a lot of cardboard should think about commercial cardboard recycling. A commercial company will pay for your cardboard and this could save you money because you will need fewer bin collections. Cardboard is easily broken down and stored, so it is an ideal material for recycling.