Plastics

  • Plastic Bottles 72 x 100

    In West Sussex, the only plastic items we can recycle are PLASTIC BOTTLES.

Yes please

Drink bottles

Milk bottles

Shampoo bottles

Detergent bottles

Washing up liquid bottles

No thanks: plastic film/lids, yoghurt pots, ice cream tubs, margarine tubs, food trays, plastic bags/sacks, polystyrene, coat hangers

Plastics recycling FAQs

What plastics can I put in my recycling bin? In West Sussex, we can only recycle Plastic Bottles.

Why can’t I recycle other plastic items like food trays and yoghurt pots?  After your recycling has been sorted at the MRF, the materials are delivered to manufacturers to be recycled into new goods. End-use markets for other types of plastic are limited and whilst the market situation may slowly be changing and a few plastic sorters are accepting other types of plastic, most UK reprocessors are still only able to recycle plastic bottles.

In West Sussex we want to be sure there are secure end-use markets available for non-bottle shaped plastics, preferably in the UK, and that we can be certain they will be recycled. We continue to keep this situation under review, but, until the end-use market situation improves, we are following industry advice to focus on collecting plastic bottles, which have stable and secure markets in the UK.

Should I remove my plastic bottle lids before putting the bottle in my recycling bin? Yes. Please remove the lid before putting your plastic bottle in the recycling bin. If lids are left on the bottle, this can cause problems when the MRF sorts and separates your recycling. Plastic bottle lids should be placed in your rubbish bin; we CANNOT recycle plastic lids as they are made from a different type of plastic to plastic bottles. 

Why can’t I put plastic bags in my recycle bin? The only plastic you can put in your recycling bin is plastic bottles. Plastic bags CANNOT be recycled as we do not have a secure or sustainable market to send them to for recycling.

The best solution is to not use plastic bags for shopping and instead use reusable fabric bags, or ‘bags for life’. Some supermarkets have recycling points for plastic bags.

Should I put my recycling in plastic bags before putting them in the recycling bin? No. Please do not put your recycling in plastic bags before putting them in your recycling bin. The MRF is unable to tear open plastic bags. Please place your recycling in your bin: clean, dry and loose (not in bags or boxes).

I’ve noticed numbers on plastic items; does this mean they can be recycled? No. These numbers, or sometimes letter abbreviations, will just tell you what type of plastic the item is made from. Unfortunately they do not serve as reliable indicators to show if the plastic item can be recycled or not.

Remember: In West Sussex we can only recycle plastic bottles.

Can I put my bleach bottles in my recycling bin? Yes. Please rinse these out first and try to get them as empty as possible.

Will I be able to recycle more plastics in the future? A government body, WRAP (Waste and Resource Action Programme), has been set up to create and develop stable and efficient markets for recycled materials. It is likely that in the future more plastics will be able to be recycled, once secure and sustainable markets have been established.