Industry News

Biffa says “Recycle Right” on Earth Day 2021

Nappies, ready for recycling

To support Earth Day’s 2021 campaign, Restore our Earth, Biffa wants to help people to ‘recycle right’ and make sure the right items go in the right bin.

The UK leader in sustainable waste management is urging people to get their recycling right to protect the environment and has released a list of the 10 most common items preventing bags of recycling from being processed.

Most Common Items Which Contaminate Your Recycling

  1. Key FactsNappies
  2. Feminine Hygiene Products
  3. Food Waste
  4. Black Sacks Containing Household Waste
  5. Blister Packets
  6. Textiles
  7. Electrical Equipment
  8. Wood
  9. Kids Toys
  10. Garden Furniture

#1 7.7 million nappies come through Biffa’s material recycling facilities annually – one nappy every four seconds.

#2 Up to 30 nappies are found in each tonne of recycling received.

#3 Electrical wires can cause serious issues when they end up in recycling plants, forcing it to shut for cleaning or breaking machinery.

Jeff Rhodes, Head of Environment and External Affairs from Biffa said: “To protect our environment, we need to ‘recycle right’ so that as much of our waste as possible is recycled. By educating people on what can and can’t be recycled we hope to continue improving the UK’s recycling rates. In turn this will create a more sustainable environment and help take care of our planet.”

He added: “The past year has given people the chance to appreciate the environment around them and it’s vital do all we can to protect it. Biffa has invested more than £54 million in its recycling facilities over the past 5 years to enable more materials to be recycled in the UK.”

Why is it Important to Avoid Contamination?

When non-recyclable items end up in the recycling bin, they cause issues such as contamination, risks to hygiene and create additional costs to identify, extract and dispose of items.

As part of its Resources and Waste Strategy for England, the government is targeting a recycling rate of 65% by 2035. To achieve this, as well as helping to protect our planet we all need to do our bit and recycle right.

Top tips for recycling

  • Check items labels for guidance
  • Separate out materials into correct bins
  • Keep items clean, empty and dry
  • If you are unsure, ask your local council or check out the recycle now website.

Biffa is a pioneer of plastic recycling, having built the UK’s first food-grade closed-loop plastic recycling in Seaham, County Durham last year.

The plant enables Biffa to recycle 57,000 tonnes of plastic annually, or 1.3bn plastic bottles per year and is part of the Group’s ongoing drive to invest in the UK’s recycling infrastructure to allow more waste to be recycled at home.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day began in 1970, calling for greater protections for the planet. Its mission is to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.

Since starting in 1970, it has become the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 75,000 partners in over 190 countries to drive positive action for our planet. More information can be found at .

Martin is a journalist and PR executive of Commercial Waste Magazine. He has worked in the commercial waste and recycling industry for over a decade and is dedicated to raising public awareness in the amount of recyclable waste being sent to landfill every year.

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