6 Recycling Myths, Busted!

With more calls to make workplaces in the UK as environmentally friendly as possible, we've put together some recycling myths that you need to know in order to not find yourself 'greenwashing'.

There is a lot of information to take on board when it comes to recycling - and a lot of misinformation too. To offer some clarity on the situation, we've compiled a list of six recycling myths and debunked them for you.

recycle symbol and items
box of recycling paper cans

1. All of your recycling is recycled

In a perfect world everything would be 100% recycled into new products. Unfortunately, at each stage of the recycling process there is a drop off.

Much of the packaging we place in recycling ends up in countries such as Malaysia or Indonesia, and it's not guaranteed that it will be used to produce new materials.

non-recyclable reciept

2. Are receipts recyclable? FALSE!

Whilst many consumers are moving towards refusing to take receipts when they purchase products, the UK still hands out receipts where around half of those are printed on paper that features a specially formulated coating, which prevents it from being recyclable.

Fortunately, many companies are moving towards email receipts and Wray Bros, for example, sends electronic versions of safety data sheets to customers upon purchase of cleaning chemicals.

green dot and widely recycled symbols

3. The 'Green Dot' means that something is recyclable

One of the biggest myths in the recycling industry is the "green dot", comprising of two green interlocking arrows, however, this is only an indication that the production company in question has financially contributed towards the recovery and recycling of packaging in Europe.

recyclable bottles turned into new bottles

4. Recycled materials are used to create the same products

Though glass, metal and paper can, in theory, be recycled an unlimited amount of times, the "cycle" of recycling cannot go on forever. Depending on the specific type, plastic can only be recycled two to three times as it degrades in quality so is often mixed with virgin plastic and used for other products including polyester for clothing.

Reusing plastics is a very good approach to recycling, for instance, using our Enviro Refill Bottles.

bottles correct recycling

5. All plastic bottles are recyclable

Dark coloured plastic bottles cannot be recycled because automatic machines do not pick up the colour when sorting them out. The colour is only there for cosmetic reasons to entice you to buy the product. Hence, almost all of our cleaning chemicals are supplied in white or clear plastic bottles.

greasy pizza boxes are not recycable

6. You have to clean empty bottles and jars

This depends on the recycling facility, whilst some wash the waste before sending it on, others will process it straight away. If it is absolutely clean, it can in theory be processed again and achieve the closed loop recycling.

Just to be on the safe side it is worth washing products thoroughly.

There you have it! Hopefully, this article will help you make a more informed decision about your recycling practices.

Do you want to make your workplace more environmentally friendly?

Get in touch with Wray Bros and see how we can help.

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