Top 5 things you didn’t know you could recycle

It’s Plastic Free July and what better time to talk about recycling. As Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, founder of Plastic Free July points out in her book Plastic free, only 9% of plastics ever get recycled. Let’s face it. Recycling can be complicated. Which thing goes in which bin? It’s also easy to think that something can’t be recycled and toss it in the ‘too hard bin’ when in fact, with a little work, you could recycle it instead. Here’s our top 5 things you didn’t know you could recycle that (good news) you actually can!

  1. Shampoo and conditioner containers

According to Brisbane City Council’s Recycling Guide for Households, shampoo and conditioner containers can be recycled. Never fear! You can keep loving your hair with all those salon style products, just make sure you add them to your recycling bin when you’re done.

2. Coffee pods

Are you a coffee addict like me? You don’t have to buy the expensive biodegradable pods to save the planet! Ordinary coffee pods can be recycled. Check out recycling schemes like Nespresso and Banish.

3. Milk carton lids

Did you know the proper way to recycle a carton of milk is to flatten it and screw the lid on? That’s right! The lids of milk cartons are recyclable so before you throw away that carton of oat milk remember to put a lid on it!

4. Soft plastics

It takes some effort but soft plastics can be recycled. Your work place may have a soft plastics bin or try the ones you find in supermarkets. While they can’t be put in ordinary recycling bins there are ways you can still use soft plastics and recycle too!

5. Books

Ok, so if you’re a librarian you knew that already! If not, there are dozens of ways you can recycle books. Street libraries, donating to your local library, donating to a charity like Lifeline or regifting are just a few. But seriously there’s no need for books to go to waste. If you’ve got a few titles that are past their use-by date get creative and think about how you can give them a second home.

That’s our top 5 things you didn’t know you could recycle which indeed you can! Think how much bigger and better your life is now. You can enjoy your oak milk lattes guilt free and buy as many books as you like! Good luck with the Plastic Free July challenge and remember to think before you bin…

By Anne Reddacliff, ALIA Sustainable Libraries Group member

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