With our current climate crisis, going green has never been more popular. From buying glass containers to reduce the intake of plastic to reusing bags for the weekly shop, it seems more people are making a conscious effort to recycle than ever before.

There are various recyclable options for everyday household items, and many of these can be recycled by placing them into one of the council-provided plastic, paper, glass and food waste bins.

Are plastic storage boxes recyclable?

You’d think that plastic storage containers would be easy to recycle. However, you cannot put plastic storage containers in your recycling bin. Instead, the council insists on putting them in the same bin as your rubbish.

Plastic storage boxes can’t go in your recycling bin for several reasons. Large containers simply won’t fit and kerbside recycling services are not set up to take these boxes. Instead, recycling programmes find items like plastic water bottles, butter tubs, milk cartons and shampoo bottles much easier to collect and reuse.

However, certain brands are recyclable and will contain this information on their website. For instance, Really Useful Boxes makes all of their products from recyclable plastic and state that they can be put in recycling bins.

If you can’t find this information, there are many other ways that you can recycle unwanted storage containers.

  • Find an alternative recycling skip.

There are usually several alternative places that you can dispose of your recycling, other than just the kerbside recycling service. Simply search on Google ‘recycling centre’ or ‘recycling skip’ with your location and find the nearest place to you. These facilities usually accept larger and difficult to recycle items, although, it might be worth ringing up and checking just in case.

  • Ring your waste management agency.

You can usually find your local recycling coordinator either online, through the council or in the yellow pages. Consulting your local waste management agency directly will give you the most relevant advice on how and where to recycle your plastic storage containers. Recycle Now also has an effective online recycling locator designed to help you find your local centre.

  • Buy recycled plastic containers.

If you want to purchase a plastic storage container, you could opt to buy one already made from recycled materials. That way, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and doing your bit for the environment. There are many great alternatives to new plastic storage boxes, such as recycled containers constructed from materials like old car batteries.

  • Take them to local charity shops.

If your plastic storage containers are still in good condition and you don’t have any use for them, you could take them down to your local charity shop. These stores could sell them on or perhaps even keep them for their own use. You could also take them to schools, nurseries, day centres and care homes to see if they could do with some extra storage.

How can I reuse my plastic storage container?

Before you make the decision to recycle, there might be a way you can utilise your storage box around the house that you haven’t previously thought of. If it’s looking slightly worse for wear, why not use it in the garage or shed to store garden and woodwork supplies. If you have pets, it could be a useful box for leads and toys. You could even store muddy shoes in a container under the stairs.

You could always keep one in the boot of your car for supplies if you go on day trips and outings. If you often find your recycling bins overloading during the week, you could keep a larger storage box to hold other recyclable materials that can’t fit in your kerbside bins. Once it fills up, make a trip to your local recycling skip.

Are plastic food storage containers recyclable?

Always check that your plastic food storage containers and lids are embossed with the recycling symbol before putting them in the recycling bin. The universal recycling symbol consists of three arrows in the shape of a triangle. There is usually a number inside, so if you see a 1 or 2, then you’ll be able to recycle the container. Most recycling programmes also accept number 5, however, if you’re unsure, check with your local recycling service. All you need to do is empty, clean and dry them.

How can I reuse my plastic food storage container?

Once your food storage containers have been washed, they can be used for a variety of purposes. You can use them for your stationery and crafts, or even fill them with soil to grow small indoor plants. They’ll always come in handy for storing make-up and bathroom essentials, as well as food items, such as cereals and nuts.

Are plastic dividers recyclable?

Similar to plastic storage containers, plastic dividers cannot be recycled in  kerbside bins if they are too large and not imprinted with the recycling symbol. However, you can purchase plastic dividers that are recyclable. Really Useful Boxes products are all made from polypropylene and can be recycled in council recycling bins, so it’s always good to check the brand of the container for this information.