In an ideal world, we would have a unified, national recycling policy that set out which materials all local councils must recycle. That way, manufacturers could choose only those materials to use in their products and packaging and far, far less rubbish would end up in landfills.
In the meantime, though, all local councils currently offer different recycling facilities, both at the kerbside and at recycling centres. You’re probably already familiar with which ordinary household waste can be recycled via your regular kerbside collection, but what do you do with all the packaging materials you’re left with after moving house, or from all your online purchases?
- just moved house,
- bought a major appliance for your home, or
- want to know how to responsibly dispose of all the packaging from your online deliveries,
here’s what you can do to recycle packaging materials near you.
How to recycle cardboard
Cardboard is widely recycled, though your council might not collect it at the kerbside. It’s easily broken down into a paste and reformed into fresh corrugated sheets of cardboard.
Remember, though, that a sturdy cardboard box (used for moving house or packaging heavy goods delivered to your door) can be reused before it needs to be recycled. Indeed, one of the ways to keep the cost of moving house down is to get used cardboard boxes for free
from friends, family, or local shops, as they can be used two or three times. If you’ve moved house recently and want to get rid of your boxes, see if anyone you know needs them before you head to the recycling centre!
If you need to buy packaging materials, look for those made from recycled and recyclable packaging. We offer packaging materials for moving house or storing goods, and all of our cardboard boxes
are made from completely recycled cardboard. We continue to uphold our “box for life promise” to our customers ensuring our boxes are recycled in a responsible way.
How to recycle bubble wrap
Bubble wrap is less widely recycled. It’s made of the same type of plastic as carrier bags and plastic film; to be recycled, it has to be popped and flattened (presumably by a machine, but that would be a great job, wouldn’t it?), then it’s ground into pellets, melted down and re-formed into another soft plastic product.
Bubble wrap, stretch wrap, carrier bags and other plastics made from LDPE (low-density polyethylene) cannot be recycled with other types of plastic like bottles, because they get tangled up in the machinery and cause havoc at the recycling centre. So, don’t put those types of plastic in your recycling bin at home!
Some councils have started offering kerbside collection of these ‘soft’ plastics, and some supermarkets have collection points in store now.
You can find your local collection point to recycle your bubble wrap here
How to recycle packing tape
Sadly, traditional packing tape cannot be recycled. If you have packing tape stuck on your cardboard boxes, it helps the recycling team if you take it off but don’t worry if you can’t. When the cardboard is pulped down, the packing tape can be removed at that point.
You can buy recyclable packing tape, which is widely recyclable alongside your paper and cardboard. If you’re an online retailer and want to do your bit for the environment, you could use recyclable packing tape and make your eco-credentials a selling point!
How to recycle packing peanuts (Void Fill)
If your packaging contains lots of polystyrene peanuts, unfortunately they cannot be recycled. If you’re planning to move house and want to use eco-friendly packaging, biodegradable packing peanuts are available to buy
Recycling your packaging materials is one way to reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit for the environment; you could also write to your MP and express your support for a unified recycling policy to reduce the amount of unrecyclable materials being produced. For more general tips and advice on recycling, there’s lots of really useful information on the Recycle Now site, here