Living / 7 March, 2018 / My Baba

10 Things You Can Recycle But Probably Don’t

Recycling is so important in today’s world and there are so many ways you can do your bit. Here are ten surprising things that can be recycled.

Coffee pods

We love those Nespresso coffee pods. They’re so simple to use and super tasty, but I’m always conscious of how bad for the environment they can be. Although you can’t throw them in with the rest of your recycling, Nespresso do have an option for them to be recycled in their boutiques and drop-off points. Click there to find out more.

If you use loose coffee grounds, these can also be recycled alongside food waste. There are also some fantastic uses for used coffee grounds, including as a cellulite treatment and to make candles.


Foil is widely recyclable, so whether you’ve been oven-roasting vegetables or scoffing Easter eggs, be sure to throw any foil into the recycling. It must be cleaned and scrunched up into a ball. If it’s sticky with food waste, it should go into general waste.

Other aluminium items you can recycle include screw top wine lids, drinks cans and takeaway containers, advises RecycleNow.

Shampoo and shower gel bottles

When you think about it, it’s obvious these bottles are recyclable. However it’s unlikely you’ll have a recycling bin in your bathroom, so they easily get thrown in with the general waste. Empty them, give them a quick rinse and toss them in with your plastic bottle recycling in the kitchen.

Remove the lids and squash them to save space. If your soap bottle has a pump, this needs to be removed and placed in general waste.

Childs Farm Recycle
Image credit: Somewhere After The Rainbow


Generally people avoid recycling aerosols because of the concern that they may explode. Contrary to this, aerosols are in fact recyclable. They’re made from aluminium and steel which are both recyclable. When empty, place them in the recycle bin without compressing them.

Makeup packaging

Nowadays many makeup brands are eco-conscious and will allow you to take your empty containers into the store so they can recycle them.

Not many people are aware but if you return six MAC packaging containers, you’ll receive a free lipstick of your choice as a thank you.

Image credit: WeHeartIt

Plastic bags

Recyclable, right? In some places, yes, but do double check your local recycling scheme. The best use of a plastic bag is to keep on reusing it but we know they do get worn out and will need binning at some point. Many supermarkets now offer a carrier bag recycling scheme. In future, try to remember to carry a tote bag with you to save buying the bags in the first place.

If you’re wondering whether other common items, RecycleNow is a fantastic resource for learning what can be recycled. 

Food pouches

Generally pouches for baby food, coffee, and juice should be placed in your regular rubbish bin, but there are options out there to help you recycle. TerraCycle can help you dispose of hard-to-recycle items like food pouches. Ella’s Kitchen have teamed up with TerraCycle to recycle any brand of baby food pouches.

Ella's Kitchen Recycle
Image credit: Mother&Baby

Light bulbs

The newer energy efficient lightbulbs can be recycled however the older incandescent bulbs should be thrown in with general waste. You can recycle the newer fluorescent bulbs at many recycling centres and many stores like IKEA and Tesco.

If you haven’t already, you should switch to fluorescent lightbulbs now because they help you save money, and by using less energy they’re better for the environment.

Printer cartridges

They may not be an everyday item, but you’ll likely have to throw away printer ink cartridges at one point or another. Don’t throw them away when they can be recycled.

Help the British Heart Foundation save lives by recycling your empty cartridges with The Recycling Factory. For every printer cartridge that they receive, up to £4.50 will be donated to the BHF. Click here for more details.

Milk bottles

Another item you may have heard rumour can’t be recycled. They can and will be accepted as part of your plastic household recycling. RecycleNow advises to ‘leave the tops on all your plastic bottles when you recycle them.’

READ MORE: How To Recycle Used Coffee Pods In Your Beauty Regime

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