When it comes to taking care of the environment, many of us think we're doing our bit by ensuring we put recyclable food packaging into the correct waste bin; but did you know not all recyclables are made equal?
The UK Recycling Association has revealed the five products that pose the greatest difficulties for reuse, due to their varied packaging. (The more materials involved, the harder it is for a recycling machine to separate them.)
Simon Ellin, CEO of the names Pringles and Lucozade sport drinks the 'villains' of recycling.
He shared his top five worst recycling offenders with .
1. Pringles (and products with similar packaging): 'Number One recycling villain. These things are a...nightmare. Impossible to separate the parts.'
2. Lucozade Sport (and drinks with similar packaging): 'Number Two villain. This bottle is so confusing to computer scanners that it has to be picked by hand off the recycling conveyor. Then it often just gets chucked away.'
3. Cleaning spray bottles: 'Labels often say the product is recyclable, but that's only the body. The spray has two or three other polymers and a metal spring. It's almost impossible.'
4. Black plastic food trays: 'Supermarkets think black trays make meat look redder so they colour the tray black but that makes it worthless for recycling. Also, if someone leaves the torn film on the tray, with a card below it, we just have to chuck it anyway.'
5. Whisky packaging: 'Whisky causes us problems. The metal bottom and top to the sleeve, the glass bottle, the metal cap...very hard for us.'
Commenting on the above, a Lucozade Ribena Suntory spokesperson responded: 'We take our responsibility to the environment seriously and on Lucozade Sport in the last year we reduced the weight of the bottle by 3g, which equates to an annual saving of 540 tonnes of plastic.
'As with the rest of our drinks produced at our Coleford factory, the Lucozade Sport bottles are blown on-site to limit our carbon footprint and they are all recyclable. We recognise our responsibility to limit our impact on the environment and welcome any technological breakthroughs that support this ambition.'
Meanwhile, a Pringles spokesperson said: 'We take our responsibilities to the planet we all share seriously and are continuously working to improve our environmental performance.
'All parts of a Pringles can act as a barrier to protect the chips from environmental contamination and to keep them fresh. The freshness of our chips means a longer shelf life, which minimises food waste.'
Whilst the solution to the world's ongoing recycling issues remains unclear, one thing is for sure, simply putting your recycling bin out for collection ever week probably isn't as helpful for the environment as you thought it was.
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