What Are The Top 3 Most Recycled Items?

What Are The Top 3 Most Recycled Items

What Are The Top 3 Most Recycled Items

The top 3 most recycled items in the UK are paper, plastic bottles and aluminium.

Recycling is an essential process in today’s world as it helps to conserve resources and reduce waste. Implementing a recycling program not only keeps our planet clean and green, but it also creates jobs and saves energy. 

Paper & Cardboard

In the UK, we use over 9.9 million tonnes of paper each year. We recycle around 80% of paper in the UK. When it comes to cardboard, a huge 84% of corrugated cardboard in the UK is recycled, amounting to 2 million tonnes per year.

Items include office paper, newspapers, and cardboard boxes / packaging. The recycling process for paper involves collecting and sorting paper products, cleaning and pulping the paper, and then forming it into new paper products. Recycled paper products including paper, cardboard and cereal boxes are widely used.

paper waste

Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles are among the most commonly recycled items in the United Kingdom. According to BPF, 75% of PET drink bottles are recycled, with 61% of all plastic bottles collected for recycling. Plastic bottles are typically made of a type of plastic known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). 

PET is a durable, lightweight material that is resistant to impact and chemicals. PET is also a popular choice for water bottles, soda bottles and other household items. The plastic recycling process for bottles is relatively simple. They are cleaned, crushed, and then melted down to make new plastic products.

plastic waste

Aluminium Cans

Aluminium cans are another highly recycled item. Every year around 9.591 billion aluminium drink cans are produced in the UK, 75% of which are recycled

Aluminium is 100% recyclable, and it requires 95% less energy to recycle aluminium than to produce it from raw materials. Recycling aluminium also helps to conserve resources since recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to power a television for three hours.

Other metal products includes steel. It was reported that in 2005, around 50% of all steel packaging was recycled. Recycled steel can be repurposed into products such as pipes, frames, doors and more.

Aluminium waste

Start Your Commercial Recycling Program

Commercial recycling is essential as it helps to conserve resources, save energy, and reduce waste. A recycling program not only saves pollution and landfill space, but can also save your business large sums of money.

To keep the recycling program running smoothly, it is crucial to educate people about the importance of recycling and encourage them to participate in the recycling program. 

You can also partner with a waste management company, and use commercial recycling services. We help businesses across Northamptonshire and surrounding to minimise their environmental impact.

The Most Recycled Items In The UK

In summary, paper, plastic bottles, and aluminium cans and are the top 3 most recycled materials in the United Kingdom. Whilst we fill our segregated recycling bins with these products, we can push for sustainability and increased recycling rates.

Other general materials that are also recyclable include glass products, milk jugs, other metals, and textiles. Glass is 100% recyclable and will never lose its quality. Recycled glass can be used for new bottles, construction materials and much more.

Through the recycling process, these materials can be made into new products, thus saving raw materials and energy. It is important for commercial entities to encourage and participate in recycling programs to promote sustainable living and a cleaner environment.


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