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16 million plastic bottles per day fail to be recycled

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Households across Britain do not recycle their plastic bottles correctly – meaning almost half off all plastic bottles end up at landfill

According to new research recently published by Recycle Now, households across Britain are failing to recycle around 16 million plasic bottles per day, which is a huge number and almost half of the total amount of plastic bottles that are used and thrown away each day – a staggering 35 million!

The campaign group Recycle Now, who are funded by WRAP, estimate that the number of plastic bottles not being recycled could add up to around 29 billion by 2020, which will put a big squeeze on landfill sites and be disastrous for marine life.

Households across the UK not recycling enough of our plastic bottles

Not enough plastic bottles are being recycled © Copyright Richard Webb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Recycle Now believes that on average, households across the UK use around 480 plastic bottles in and around the home every year but out of these, only 270 are recycled, meaning that almost half (44%), are not placed into recycling bins and instead end up at landfill.

Taken as a whole, around 35.8 million plastic bottles get used each day throughout the UK but only 19.8 million are placed into our recycling bins for collection – meaning that around 16 million plastic bottles end up at landfill as a result and from there end up in the sea, where they can take up to 500 years to break down.

Recycle Now says that plastic bottles containing soft drinks and water are mostly to blame for creating litter and filling up landfill sites but plastic bottles used around the home, such as shampoo bottles, empty bleach containers and liquid soap bottles are also to blame.

The campaign group believes that people’s fears over whether such plastic bottles can be recycled or not is to blame for the low recycling numbers and educating the public as to what household products can and can’t be recycled is a priority.

Alice Harlock from Recycle Now said: “The number of plastic bottles not being recycled is staggering and will increase further if we don’t take action. Householders are often unsure if items are recyclable, especially from the bathroom, bedroom and living room.”

She added that basically any plastic bottles found around the home, such as washing up liquid bottles, fabric conditioner bottles and hair conditioner bottles, are recyclable and only bottles which contain chemicals should not be placed in our recycling bins.

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