5 common recycling mistakes you make

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Many households have made daily changes to combat climate change, ffrom the use of environmentally friendly cleaning products to the purchase of an electric car.

While taking steps like recycling is important to reducing our carbon footprint, new research shows that many of us make similar recycling mistakes and offset our hard work.

So in order not to take one step forward and two steps back, MyJobQuote recycling experts shared the five most common recycling mistakes that many don’t even know about – and how to overcome them.

1. Does not remove the adhesive tape

While popular packaging such as cardboard can be recycled, many of us tend to leave out the tape, which can have dire consequences. “Adhesive tape is not recyclable because it’s usually made of polypropylene, which is a kind of plastic,” explains Samantha Jones of MyJobQuote. “If tape is left on recyclable materials such as cardboard and paper, the material becomes non-recyclable and ends up in a landfill anyway.”

Samantha advises you to remove all adhesive tape from the cardboard during recycling to avoid damaging the recycled collections. “Look for eco-friendly alternatives to adhesive tape, such as bamboo and hemp tapes that are biodegradable. Brown paper web is also a good alternative as it is plastic free and easier to recycle.

2. Clean the food residue

Many food products are made from recyclable materials, such as glass jars, aluminum cans, and even cardboard trays. It is a common mistake to simply discard the product without first cleaning it. “Attempting to recycle something with food scraps can contaminate other recyclable materials and therefore these products can become unrecyclable,” Samantha explains.

“Flush all recyclable products before disposing of them to avoid the risk of contamination,” Samantha advises. “Failure to do so runs the risk of endangering the entire recycling bag.”

white plates on the drain pan

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3. Incorrect separation

“If you try to recycle something that can’t really be recycled, you run the risk of contaminating all the other recyclable materials,” Samantha explains. “Not only this, but also incorrect separation reduces the efficiency of the recycling process, as non-recyclable goods have to be removed from the chain by hand, which is time-consuming and has a negative impact on the environment.”

So how do we avoid the risk of infection? Samantha advises you to read the label carefully and explains that you may need to take the batteries to your local recycling center if they cannot be disposed of in the household rubbish bin.

4. Wrapping paper, including paper recycling

Most municipalities do not accept wrapping paper into their household recycling collection, so disposing of it with other paper recycling can affect the entire collection. “Wrapping paper is often dyed and laminated and can also contain glitter and plastics that simply cannot be recycled,” Samantha explains. “The rest of the wrapping paper is very thin and doesn’t contain enough fiber for recycling.”

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The best way to avoid recycling mistakes with wrapping paper is to stop using brightly colored paper available at gift shops. “Using brown paper to wrap gifts is the best alternative, as it can be easily recycled if there is no ink on the paper,” Samantha advises. “Another way is to simply use gift bags instead of wrapping paper, because although they’re harder to recycle, they can be used over and over again.”

5. Items

Many people mistakenly assume that batteries can be included in household recycling, but this is not the case. In fact, even disposing of batteries with general household waste can be dangerous.

“Batteries contain metals that are harmful to the environment, so if the battery punctures, the harmful metals can penetrate the soil and reach the water supply.”

Many supermarkets offer battery banks where you can dispose of used batteries completely free of charge. “The most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to get batteries is to invest in rechargeable batteries that will inevitably last longer than standard,” Samantha advises.

many have used electric batteries, lining up vertically and looking at the concepts of energy waste and battery recycling from above

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