Nearly a fifth of items households place in their recycling bin end up in landfill, according to new data, because people are wrongly “wish-cycling” .
Toothpaste tubes, coffee cups, juice cartons and salad bags are among the biggest culprits to be incorrectly thrown in the recycling bin, according to waste company Biffa.
Non-recyclable items are removed and thrown into landfill before the recycling process. But the company warned that other contaminants such as food or liquids can mean that potential recycling is also thrown away.
The company said food packaging should always be rinsed, and suggested households only recycle the tops of pizza boxes to avoid grease contamination.
The amount of non-recyclables placed in the wrong bin is rising even as people are becoming more eco-conscious, according to analysis by Biffa.
It called on people to stop “wish-cycling” and advised always checking labels before putting items in the recycling bin.
David Heaton, a business director at Biffa, said this of the findings: “Contamination happens when items are disposed of in the wrong bins or haven’t been rinsed before being recycled.“It means recyclable resources are lost and cannot be reused. It’s important that people understand what should go in the recycling bin and how to ‘pre-cycle’ beforehand (to rinse a tub or tray if it’s got food on it, for example) so we can recycle as much material as possible.”Campaigners have argued that packaging labels and different standards across councils make it too difficult for people to understand what they should be recycling.Most packaging will also […]