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Recycling Myths Debunked

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    Posted on 15th November 2021 by Hintons

    Recycling Myths Debunked

    Earlier this month, Boris Johnson joined 25,000 delegates from 200 countries at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference. Working together, members from across the world discussed the growing threat of climate change and proposed plans to combat it. 

    While we may not have as much power or influence as many of these representatives, we still have a responsibility to do our bit for the environment.

    By now, everyone should be recycling at home. But despite years of public appeals, campaigns and education, there still exists a lot of confusion regarding what can and can’t be recycled. 

    The Hinton’s Waste team is here to stamp out the confusion. This article will dispel some of the most common recycling myths so that you can ensure your recycling doesn’t end up in landfill.

    Does recycling really make a difference?

    Perhaps one of the biggest myths – and the most important to dispel – is that recycling doesn’t make a difference. 

    The reality is that recycling is not just important but critical. Recycling protects the environment, conserves resources and reduces the amount of energy required to make new products.

    Don’t feel discouraged about the scale of the issue. You must remember that everyone plays an important role in a collective effort. Thanks to the dedication of each and every person that chooses to recycle, the UK recycled over 12,000 tonnes of household waste in 2019 alone. That’s over 46% of all household waste that was diverted away from landfill.

    Myth: You don’t need to wash your recycling

    Wash recycling myth

    On the contrary, washing your items before recycling them is key to ensuring they get recycled successfully. Any item that still has traces of food could be deemed too contaminated to recycle, and will instead be sent to landfill. In some cases, unclean items can contaminate an entire batch of recyclable items, all of which will be sent to landfill.

    Myth: You can’t recycle facemasks

    Face mask recycling

    Facemasks have become ubiquitous since the pandemic began, and unfortunately so has facemask litter. There’s no excuse for throwing your facemask on the ground — you can recycle them at dedicated locations. Wilko has been operating a scheme whereby you can recycle your facemask at special collection bins located in 150 of their stores. An estimated 400,000 masks are expected to be recycled via the scheme.

    Myth: Separating rubbish isn’t important

    Separate rubbish important

    While it’s true that recycling facilities sort your items using various mechanical and manual processes, placing the wrong items in your recycling may contaminate a batch, rendering it unable to be recycled. Unsuitable items that haven’t been sorted correctly may also damage the machinery as they pass through.

    Myth: Plastic bags can be recycled

    Recycling myth plastic bag

    While some types of plastics can be recycled, not all are suitable. Typically, it’s only rigid plastics that are suitable for recycling. Plastic bags can be recycled in specialist facilities, but aren’t permitted in household recycling bins. 

    Myth: You must crush cans when recycling

    Recycling myth crushed can

    Crushing cans used to be important, but the advancement in recycling technology means that cans no longer need to be crushed to be able to be recycled. In fact, crushing the can may actually lead to more problems, as it can cause the can to be wrongly missorted into a group of flat items. To give your can the best chance of being recycled, you should wash it and then place it in your recycling bin without crushing it.

    Myth: It’s okay to leave tape on cardboard boxes

    Recycling myth cardboard box tape

    Tape should be removed from cardboard before it is recycled. Leaving the tape on your boxes may result in contamination that could render your boxes unrecyclable.


    At Hinton’s Waste, we endeavour to recycle as much as we can from the waste we collect. With over 20 years of experience in the waste management industry, we know what it takes to ensure safe and efficient waste disposal. We offer everything from skip hire to hazardous waste removal, ensuring we cater to the needs of every customer across Croydon and the South West and South East of London.

    Do your bit for the planet today. Choose Hinton’s Waste and know your waste is being recycled in the proper way.

    Contact our team today to find out more.


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