• There are about 50 different types of plastic. The main types include:
    • HDPE – Opaque bottles
    • PVC – Transparent bottles, with a seam running across the base
    • PET – Transparent bottles, with a hard moulded spot in the centre of the base
  • If your home recycling bin doesn’t take plastic bottles, then deposit them at your local recycling bank.
  • Clean bottles before recycling them.
  • Buy plastic bottles in bulk whenever possible to reduce packaging waste.
  • Carriers can be reused next time you’re at the shops, or deposit used ones at collection points provided by some supermarkets.


Some interesting information and statistics about recycling plastic can be found on the British Plastics Federation website here.

Reverse Vending Machines

A growing recycling option which will hopefully become more and more widespread in the UK are Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs), which collect plastics for recycling. The Reverse Vending Corporation provide fully automated Reverse Vending Machines which utilise advanced technology to identify, sort, collect, process and recycle used beverage containers including cans, glass bottles, PET (plastic) bottles and vending cups. These machines have been used in Europe for many years, often as part of a ‘refund for your empties’ scheme, encouraging people to put their bottles in to get money back. The RVC hope to have over 300 RVMs operating in schools by the end of this year. Placed in offices, shops and schools, these machines could make recycling a lot easier.