It is almost impossible to recycle the following items:
Toothpaste tubes, sunscreen and other squeezable tubes are difficult to recycle because they often contain a thin layer of aluminium and various types of plastic – making it challenging for recycling plants to separate and process them.
Paper straws contain recyclable material. However, paper straws are almost never recycled because they would need to be collected separately in large quantities before being able to recycle them.
Paper receipts are often printed on shiny, thermal paper, which is not recyclable because they are coated with a substance called bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol S (BPS). Many stores now send you an email receipt, or give you the choice of whether to take a printed receipt.
Pringles boxes are very difficult to recycle because they combine five different materials including a metal base, tear-off foil top, a plastic lid, silver foil lining inside and a cardboard outer sleeve.
Crisps packets can’t be recycled because of the grease and crisp residue that clings to them. Try the scrunch test: if the item springs back into shape after you have scrunched it up, then it shouldn’t be recycled.
Cotton pads are often blended with synthetic materials, such as polyester, so are impossible to recycle. If 100% cotton, they can be composted but only if they have not been used to remove make-up or with chemicals such as disinfectants.
Sticky notes cannot be recycled in most cases because the glue on the adhesive strip can’t always be removed during the recycling process, so many centres refuse to accept them.
For all these products, always remember: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse! ? Easy!