To bin or not to bin?

22nd June 2015
  • Check before you chuck to increase recycling
  • Thirty per cent of us are confused about what we can recycle
  • Figures released today marks the start of Recycle Week

Around 30% of us are still confused about what can be recycled, according to recycling campaign, Recycle Now.

The national campaign is running a targeted week of activities from 22nd-28th June, to help clear up confusion and get stuff out of the rubbish bin and into the recycling bin!

Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP, the charity that manages Recycle Now said: “We’re recycling much more than we used to, but many people still don’t realise that there are lots of items around the home that can be recycled.

“So this year’s Recycle Week is looking at the whole house as opposed to just the kitchen, so people feel more confident about what they can and can’t recycle in every room.”

A new survey of 2,000 people from Recycle Now looked at why people recycle and what areas of the home we need to get better at recycling in. One of the rooms that has a lot of easily recyclable products in, is the bathroom. But while nine out of ten respondents recycle in the kitchen, only half regularly recycle in the bathroom. 

The items which regularly go into the rubbish bin instead of being recycled are the cardboard toilet roll tube, with 25% putting it in the rubbish bin, closely followed by shampoo and shower gel bottles with 24%, aerosols (21%) and cleaning product bottles (19%).  

The good news is that these can be recycled. One easy way to make sure these go in the recycle bin instead of the rubbish bin is if you have space to add a small recycling bin upstairs, either in the bathroom or bedroom.

There’s no need to be confused, Recycle Now says ‘check before you chuck’ by using its relaunched Recycling Locator on which tells you what you can recycle locally. By entering your postcode and clicking a button, the Recycling Locator will also locate the nearest recycling banks and recycling centres. 

Other rooms in the home likely to be overlooked when it comes to recycling are the bedroom and the living area. If just one aluminium air freshener aerosol is recycled by everyone in the UK; enough energy could be saved to vacuum over 876,000 homes for a year. 

With many of us so busy, why should we make the time to recycle more around the home? Well the survey found the most common reasons people recycle is because it’s the right thing to do and it’s good for the environment. So do your bit for the environment and feel good.

Karen Cannard, a married mother of two, challenges householders to reduce their general waste through her recycling blog The Rubbish Diet. She comments on today’s survey, “There’s a role for everybody when it comes to recycling, especially around the home - every item can make a big difference.

Recycle Now has lots of simple tips and advice on what and how to recycle at


Notes to editors:

Karen and Recycle Now give their top tips for a relaxing recycling routine:

  1. Use separate containers to store the plastic, tins and paper and label them to help family members out.
  2. Don't forget to put a recycling bin in your bathroom too! This is often the most forgotten area of the home where there are lots of recyclable items like shampoo bottles and toilet roll tubes.
  3. Make space for a recycling bin; there are some great bins available to buy which have compartments for different recyclable items.
  4. Keep your recycling bin next to the main bin so you can take out the rubbish and recycling at the same time.
  5. Some things need to be rinsed before you put them out for recycling, such as glass jars. Use your old washing up water to give them a quick rinse.
  6. Make recycling part of your weekly supermarket trip and "drop when you shop" at supermarket recycling points.
  7. If you’ve misplaced your recycling container or bag provided by your local council, it’s worth giving them a quick call to request a new one.
  8. If you’re confused about what you can recycle in your local area and where your nearest Recycling Centre is, check the recently upgraded Recycle Locator at to search by postcode.
  • WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership with governments, businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, communities and individuals looking for practical advice to improve resource efficiency that delivers both economic and environmental benefits.
  • Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through:
  • re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products,
  • re-thinking how we use and consume products, and
  • re-defining what is possible through recycling and reuse.
  • First established in 2000, WRAP is a registered charity.  WRAP works with UK Governments and other funders to help deliver their policies on waste prevention and resource efficiency. 
  • WRAP is a registered Charity No. 1159512 and registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 4125764. Registered office at WRAP, Second Floor, Blenheim Court, 19 George Street, Banbury, OX16 5BH.
  • Recycle Now is a campaign to encourage people in England to recycle more things more often. Six out of ten of us now describe ourselves as committed recyclers, compared to less than half of us when the campaign began in 2004.
  • More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on and for more information on the Recycle Now campaign visit
  • Recycle Week is an annual campaign under the wider Recycle Now campaign.

Stephanie Campbell

Consumer Campaigns PR & Project Manager – Recycling
01295 817859

Ian Palmer

PR Officer, WRAP
01295 819 677