Government waste quango, WRAP, have recently suggested that every family should have a recycling bin in their bathroom. Apparently many people, even those who are otherwise good at recycling, have a habit of forgetting to recycle bathroom items which means they inevitably end up in landfill.
Despite the cynicism of some very reliable *ahem* daily tabloids, I do think WRAP have a valid point. From my own experience of working in the waste industry, people do forget about their bathroom stuff. Its so easy to chuck everything in one bin that even otherwise conscientious families often landfill things they shouldn’t. Two bins isn’t always the answer (and that same reliable tabloid has also reliably informed us that recycling in bathrooms will not be made compulsory. Good to know) as bathrooms can be pretty small. My own personal solution is not to have any bin in my bathroom at all. Any non-recyclable waste goes in the bedroom bin and recyclable stuff sits at the top of the stairs so I can take it down and put it in the recycling bin. Easy!
So here’s a reminder of bathroom items that shouldn’t be going to landfill (although please check with your Local Authority as recycling service collections differ).
Toilet roll tubes
A small item but across the UK they soon add up! They can also be thrown in your compost bin.
Shampoo and shower gel bottles
They just need a quick rinse out, which you can even do while you’re in the bath/shower. One way of reducing your overall waste is to use soap instead of shower gel; there are many natural based soaps out there that won’t dry out your skin, and which come in minimal, or no, packaging. Other plastic cosmetic bottles can be recycled too – lotion, baby oil, hand soap etc.
Bleach and cleaning product bottles
These are probably the most commonly forgotten items. But if your Council accepts plastic bottles then these can go in too. They can sometimes be hard to rinse if they have a nozzle. If you can’t get the nozzle off, or don’t want to remove it, just give it a rinse under the tap to get the worst of the product off.
Most Councils now accept these for recycling, but its definitely one to double check. They should be empty before going in the bin – whether that be a recycling or refuse bin – so make sure you use all the product up first.
Cardboard boxes from soap, toothpaste etc
As with toilet roll tubes – recycle or chuck in the compost bin. Ultimately, try to avoid products with cardboard packaging. Both soap and toothpaste can be bought without it.
Do you remember to recycle your ‘bathroom waste’?