What food and drink packaging can I recycle?

As a leading food and drink packaging supplier, we’ve worked alongside many brands to provide solutions for a variety of products.

From confectionery to fruit and vegetables, cereal and bakery products, cupboard foods and even coffee and tea. We offer a wide range of packaging formats, with additional features that add value for the consumer.

Recycling can get a bit complicated when it comes to food and drink packaging; due to the many variations and different materials used. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list covering the consumer goods industries we supply.

 

If you want to know what packaging is recyclable and what happens to it, look no further and keep reading.

 

Confectionery

You can recycle all brands of plastic confectionery packaging through TerraCycle’s Confectionery Recycling Programme.

The programme is completely free and there are 300 participating public drop-off locations across the UK.

Once the plastic confectionery packaging is collected, it is shredded, washed and then pelletized. These pellets are then used for a number of moulded rigid plastic products like benches, or film for products such as rubbish bags. You can learn more about the recycling process here.

To see the type of waste accepted into this programme or to find your nearest drop-off location, view the interactive map here.

 

Bakery Products

TerraCycle and Hovis have partnered to create a free recycling programme for bread bags.

The Bread Bag Recycling Programme currently has 798 participating drop off locations across the UK.  Use the interactive map here to find your nearest.

Like the above, the bags are then shredded, washed and pelletized. These pellets can also be used for a number of moulded rigid plastic products and films for products.

Click here to learn more about the recycling process.

 

Cupboard Foods

TerraCycle have a number of programmes available for a variety of cupboard foods. These include The KP Snacks® Nuts, Popcorn, Crisps and Pretzels Packet Recycling Programme, The Pladis Biscuits and Snacks Recycling Programme and The Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme.

The crisp packet recycling scheme is now the largest and fastest-growing scheme of its type in the UK, with more than 1,900 public drop-off locations nationwide. In fact, there is a public drop-off location within 4 miles of 80% of UK households – find your local one here.

All programmes are free, all you have to do is follow the above links to find your nearest drop off location and see the appropriate waste streams.

 

Tea & Coffee

TerraCycle has partnered with Tassimo and L’OR to create a free recycling programme for Tassimo T DISCs, outer packaging, L’OR capsules, Kenco Eco Refill packs and coffee jar lids.

So far, thanks to thousands of collectors, more than 25 million pieces of Tassimo waste and L’OR capsules have been recycled. This has raised more than £308,000 for schools, charities and Non-Profits in the UK. *

The Tassimo® & L’OR® Recycling Programme is free, but it is only run through public Hub and Spoke locations. A public Hub and Spoke location is a communal collection point where the public can take their TerraCycle waste for recycling.

You can find all existing public Hub and Spoke locations on the interactive map here. Just enter your post code in the search bar for your nearest drop off point.

At present, there are only 48 participating locations. However, the map does update when new locations are added or removed. Therefore, we recommend you visit the site above in advance before you drop off your waste.

*The numbers you see above relate to the Hub and Spoke model only.

 

Cereals

Cereal boxes are recyclable via your blue bin (UK) but the plastic inside, containing the contents is not. However, you can now recycle your used plastic cereal bags and liners to prevent them from going to landfills.

The Cereal Bags Zero Waste Box allows you to recycle your cereal lining responsibly. The collected waste then goes through extrusion and pelletisation to be moulded into various recycled plastic products.

Unfortunately, unlike many of the other programmes, the Zero Waste Box isn’t free. However, it is the first-ever comprehensive recycling solution for everyday consumer waste, which prevents unnecessary waste from going into landfills.

A cheaper solution you could consider is contacting any cereal lovers you know to split the costs of a box. Alternatively, you could encourage your children’s school or employer to get a box for the office, so that colleagues can bring packaging in at the end of use.

Another worthwhile idea is to mention the programme to your local shop/supermarket to see if they’d like to get on board and encourage local visitors to bring in their cereal lining. It’s worth a try!

 

Fruit & Veg

1.3 billion ultra-thin fruit and veg bags are given out by supermarkets in the UK every year but are they recyclable?

Apparently not according to the Recoup recycling charity. Only one in 10 local authorities recycle plastic ‘film’ – which also includes plastic bags for frozen food, pet food, confectionery, cereal and toilet rolls as well as shrink wrap and magazine wrappings.

Fortunately, most of the packaging used for pre-packed fruit and vegetable produce is recyclable, including the plastic punnets for berries and cardboard moulds for tomatoes and avocados. Just check the packaging for recycling symbols and instructions.

You can purchase fruit and veg like apples, bananas or carrots loosely to avoid unnecessary packaging waste.

All food waste (cooked or raw, meat, fish, vegetables) can be put in a compostable bag, in your green bin.

 

Using TerraCycle is easier than ever, just visit them here. Use the search bar to tell them what you want to recycle, type in your location and click to view their free and purchasable recycling solutions.

You can also check your local recycling options by entering your postcode here.

If you have any further queries regarding packaging, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, be sure to check our blog regularly! We strive to use our platform to discuss the most common concerns and questions you put forward to us.

Share this blog using the social media buttons below! Let others know about the free programmes and recycling solutions that are available across the UK.

Previous Post
Keep plastic out of the sea with these simple steps  
Next Post
How to recycle your bathroom and beauty products

Menu