Business Waste
No. 1 for Code 7 Recycling

Recycling Code 7

There are six main categories of plastic waste and anything else that doesn’t fit into these falls under code 7. Where possible, recycling code 7 plastic is vital to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. However, because code 7 includes a wide array of plastic waste types, not everything is recyclable.

Separating recyclable plastics from non-recyclable and biodegradable plastic waste is ideal to ensure as much as possible is reused. This isn’t always realistic though, which is why lots of unallocated and miscellaneous plastic waste is classed as code 7. Sending your code 7 plastic waste for recycling is still responsible as it will be checked, sorted, and recycled where possible.

Find out everything you need to know about code 7 recycling on this page – or call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online today for a free quote for plastic waste collection.

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What is code 7 recycling?

Code 7 recycling is a catch-all term used to cover all the types of plastic that don’t fall under any of the other six categories. Products that include the code 7 recycling logo may be made of multiple types of plastic or one single material that doesn’t fall under any of the other six codes.

Some common plastic types that fall under code 7 include:

  • Polycarbonate (PC)
  • Polylactic Acid (PLA)
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
  • Acrylic
  • Fibreglass
  • Nylon
Learn about acrylic recycling

As code 7 includes a variety of plastic types, there are all sorts of items stamped with this logo made from one or more plastic materials. Examples of products categorised as code 7 include:

  • Food containers
  • CDs
  • Baby bottles
  • Eyeglasses and sunglasses
  • Car parts
  • Reusable plastic dishes
  • Home décor items
  • External light fittings

Can type 7 plastic 
be recycled?

Recycling type 7 plastic is tricky as it doesn’t refer to one specific waste material. Some of the waste that falls under plastic recycling code 7 is made from multiple plastic types that are hard or impossible to separate and recycle. Other items are simply made from plastic materials that aren’t currently recyclable.

However, some types of code 7 plastic are recyclable – such as polycarbonate. Therefore, it’s always worth sending code 7 plastic for recycling, as they should be sorted and separated at the recycling centre. This helps any recyclable materials be picked out and reused, while everything else should be disposed of responsibly.

Recycling code 7 plastics at home is difficult. Most local authorities and councils don’t accept waste items with the code 7 logo as sorting, processing, and recycling can be too time-consuming and expensive. You could see if your local household waste recycling centre (HWRC) accepts it.

pair of black sunglasses.

How is code 
7 recycled?

As code 7 includes a variety of plastics, there isn’t one single method for their recycling. And some plastic waste with the code 7 label can’t be recycled. The general process for recycling some types of code 7 waste includes these steps:

  • Sorting – plastic waste will be removed from your premises and taken to a waste management centre where it’s sorted by type and grade.
  • Cleaning – after being split into individual material streams the plastic will be cleaned to remove any contaminants. This ensures high-quality recycled plastic.
  • Shredding – a common recycling method involves clean and dry plastic waste being shredded, which removes any further impurities.
  • Melting – the shredded plastic is then melted down and moulded into pellets, which are sent to manufacturers. Sometimes virgin plastic will be added at this point to strengthen the quality.
  • Manufacturing – manufacturers use recycled plastic pellets in their new products, using on their own or blending with other plastic types to form all sorts of items.

Some types of code 7 plastics don’t need recycling as they’re biodegradable. For example, bio-based plastic items like cornstarch-based and bamboo or wheat-infused plastic products are marked PLA and can be composted. This saves on the energy required for recycling.

Learn about plastic recycling

Why is recycling 
code 7 important?

Recycling code 7 products is important as these plastics are sometimes neglected and disposed of with general waste. This may result in such plastic waste ending up in landfill, which contributes to pollution and takes up space when it could be reused. Plastics in landfill also leach chemicals that further damage the local environment.

It can take hundreds of years for products made from polycarbonate, acrylic, and other miscellaneous plastics to break down. Recycling saves valuable resources and energy and protects the environment. Not all code 7 products are recyclable but those that are will be separated and repurposed, while the rest should be disposed of responsibly.

Code 7 recycling also lowers your commercial waste disposal costs. It reduces how much landfill tax you pay by ensuring none of your company’s plastic waste ends up at a landfill site. It’s also easy for businesses to recycle code 7 plastic as you can place it in the same recycling bins as all other types of plastic waste you produce.

tops of two baby bottles.

How to dispose 
of code 7 plastic

Arrange commercial waste collection to dispose of any code 7 plastic waste from your business responsibly. You can store all types of code 7 materials and products in plastic waste bins alongside other kinds of plastic waste, as they’ll be sorted at the recycling centre. Dispose of code 7 plastic easily with these steps:

  • Request a free no obligation quote for code 7 plastic waste collection. Let us know the number and size of waste plastic bins you need, your location, and how often you want them collected.
  • We’ll deliver free plastic waste bins to your premises anywhere in the UK – just cover the collection costs. Fill each bin with all types of plastic waste within any max fill lines or weight limits.
  • Move the plastic waste bins to the agreed and accessible collection point. Licensed waste carriers will arrive on time and remove your full bins, replacing them if you’ve arranged regular collections.
  • The plastic waste is taken to a nearby waste management centre where it’s sorted, separated into individual streams, cleaned, and sent for recycling.
  • You’ll receive a free duty of care certificate confirming the safe, legal, and responsible disposal of your plastic waste.

Disposing of code 7 plastic types at home can be trickier as it’s a combination of plastic materials. Check if your local authority accepts used products with the plastic code 7 recycling logo in domestic recycling bins. Unfortunately, most currently don’t due to the difficulties of recycling this waste type.

You can also check if your nearby household waste recycling centre (HWRC) accepts code 7 plastic waste for recycling. If not, contact us at Business Waste and we’ll find a solution to help recycle your code 7 plastic waste.

Who needs to recycle 
code 7 plastic?

All organisations that create any amount and type of code 7 plastic should send it for recycling. This helps protect the environment and saves you money on disposal costs. It’s easy and cost-effective as you can store code 7 products with the rest of your plastic waste in a single bin.

Some of the main industries that produce plastic waste that classes as code 7 include:

  • Garages

    Recycle a wide range of car parts made from various plastic types

  • Retail

    Responsibly dispose of CDs, sunglasses, baby bottles, and more

  • Restaurants

    Recycle food containers, plastic dishes and drinkware, and more


Arrange code 7 
plastic waste collection

Get a free no obligation quote for plastic waste collection – including your code 7 plastic waste. We can deliver free bins and arrange collections anywhere in the UK, you only pay for the collection. Tell us the sizes and number of bins you need, your location, and how often you want the bins collected for a tailored quote.

Plastic waste collections are possible on a daily, weekly, or fortnightly basis to suit your needs. Licensed waste carriers remove your bins, and we provide a free duty of care certificate for added peace of mind. Call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online for your free quote today and speak to our experts for any advice.

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Recycling code 7 FAQs

  • PLASTIC What is resin identification code 7?

    Resin identification code 7 is the same as plastic recycling code 7. It means the packaging is made from a type of plastic outside of the main six categories or from a blend of one or more plastics. Resin identification code 7 includes bioplastics, composite plastics (such as crisp packets), plastic-coated wrapping paper, and polycarbonate.

  • PLASTIC What is polycarbonate?

    Polycarbonate (PC) is a naturally transparent amorphous thermoplastic. It’s a strong and tough type of plastic that can be available in various colours and levels of translucency. PC is therefore used often when impact resistance and/or transparency are required for a plastic product, such as plastic lenses in eyewear, exterior light fittings, and water dispensers.

  • PLASTIC Is polycarbonate recyclable?

    Polycarbonate is fully recyclable. At the end of its life, any product made from PC can be completely recycled. Old polycarbonate plastic is shredded and then granulated before it’s turned into new products. Sometimes PC is blended with ABS, which can make it harder to recycle when the plastic types need separating.

  • PLASTIC Is number 7 plastic biodegradable?

    Most number 7 plastic types are not biodegradable or compostable, so they should be sent for recycling where possible. However, as number 7 plastics include all plastic types not covered in the main six categories, some kinds of code 7 plastics are biodegradable. These include:

    • Polybutylene succinate (PBS)
    • Polycaprolactone (PCL)
    • Polybutyrate adipate terephthalate (PBAT)
    • Polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH/PVA)
  • PLASTIC Is ABS 7 plastic recyclable?

    Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is fully recyclable. This thermoplastic polymer can be melted and reshaped many times and won’t lose its properties. ABS is commonly used in toys, appliances, and car parts that can be recycled at the end of their lives.

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  • Any type of waste plastic
  • FREE bins and delivery
  • We cover all of the UK