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Don’t forget to recycle your lunchtime leftovers

Posted on 28 April 2015

If you’re popping to the shops for a quick sandwich or salad this lunchtime don’t forget that you can now recycle the plastic container.

Recent changes introduced by West Sussex County Council, working with District and Borough Councils across the county, mean that salad trays, sandwich containers, fruit tubs, yoghurt pots, ready meal trays, instant noodle pots and sushi trays can all be put in household recycling bins. Just remember to remove any plastic film or bags.

That means that even more plastic will be given a new lease of life as a fleece jacket, a window frame or even garden furniture amongst other things, instead of going to landfill where it can take hundreds of years to break down.

In the first week of April this year West Sussex residents recycled almost 32 tonnes of plastic. The addition of pots, tubs and trays to household recycling will see this number increase significantly.

David Barling, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “From time to time we all treat ourselves to a shop bought lunch. In the past this meant a lot of additional plastic going in the rubbish bin at home or at work, but thanks to these changes most of the packaging can now be recycled.

“We understand that business recycling arrangements in workplaces may be different to those we have at home, and there may not always be the facilities to recycle pots, tubs and trays. But I urge residents to check out the arrangements in their workplace, and if it’s not possible to recycle there, give them a rinse out and take them home where possible. A small amount of effort could make a really big difference to the amount of plastic we recycle in West Sussex, whilst making lunchtimes that little bit greener.

“And don’t forget, it not just the food packaging – bottles and tubs which once contained drinks, dips and dressings can also be recycled. Just remember to give them all a quick rinse out first to remove any food or liquid left inside, and make sure that they are clean, dry and loose when they go into your recycling bin.”

To find out more about recycling in West Sussex, including what can be placed in household recycling bins, please visit www.recycleforwestsussex.org/plastics.

From 1 April plastics that can be accepted in household recycling are:
• Milk and drinks bottles
• Bathroom bottles
• Laundry/detergent bottles and tubs
• Yoghurt, cream and soup pots
• Ice cream and margarine tubs
• Cosmetic pots and tubs
• Food and ready meal trays
• Fruit and vegetable punnets
• Plastic container lids (such as those used on coffee jars)

Plastic that cannot be put in household recycling:
• Plastic carrier bags and plastic film
• Expanded polystyrene
• Plant pots and seed trays
• Plastic toys
• Plastic furniture