You are here : News > News

Take your tops off

Posted on 12 June 2015

Residents in West Sussex are being asked to make sure they are taking their bottle tops and plastic lids off their containers.

That’s the plea coming from West Sussex County Council, who are aiming to make sure more of the right type of plastic is being recycled.

Since the recent changes to recycling across the county have seen household plastic containers included in collections, one of the most frequently asked questions relates to the issue of bottle tops and lids.

Plastic lids, such as those used on things like coffee jars, margarine tubs or large cosmetic pots, can all be recycled with your regular household collection.

However plastic bottle tops, such as those uses on milk or soft drink bottles, can’t be recycled as they are too small to be collected by the machinery at the recycling plant in Ford, which is managed by Viridor.

Lids and tops should be removed from the containers before recycling as they are often made from a different material or a different type of plastic to the container. They have to be separated because they have different chemical properties which could affect the end product.

David Barling, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “I know it seems trifling to ask people to take their bottle tops and container lids off items, but it is important.

“The different materials are separated at the recycling plant and sorted into streams which are used for all kinds of different products.

“For example your glass coffee jar and its plastic lid need to be separated to ensure they can be recycled – so instead of screwing those lids back on after you’ve washed and dried the items, just pop them into your recycling bin.

“And while we can’t accept your bottle tops, there are several charities based locally who do collect them. Why not keep a container by the side of your kitchen sink for your bottle tops and donate them to charity?”

For more information about plastic recycling in West Sussex, and which items can be added to your household collection, please visit