The sign of a good party is a full recycling bin


I just love eating outside in the summer and you can’t beat a BBQ. I had some friends over at the weekend, we cooked up a storm, but the amount of plastic recycling I had from mushrooms, burgers, sausages and bread rolls was staggering!

We collect most types of household plastic packaging in Colchester: food and drinks such as tubs, trays, pots and bottles.

Here’s where I use my booming radio voice to introduce Part 3 of our video suite – looking at what happens to your plastic recycling:

The plastic gets separated at the processing plant into the different types. This work is done by machine, but if you’re turning into a recycling geek like me you can tell the different types by looking at the number in the middle of the recycling triangle on the packaging. In Colchester we collect everything between the numbers 1-5, but not 6 or 7.


To cut a fairly long processing story short – the plastic is broken down into flakes and then cleaned. These are melted down and moulded back into plastic products including, bollards, recycling boxes, drainage pipes, park benches, food and drinks packaging and (which surprised me) even fleece jackets.

You can recycle plastic bottles, pots, tubs, trays, bags, film and wrapping (from magazines, cereal packet liners and cling film), blister packs and plant pots.

The things you can’t recycle are: chemical bottles, hard plastic toys, polystyrene, bubble wrap, electronic items, cat food pouches, crisp bags, CD cases or things made of a hard plastic like washing up bowls.

If you’d like to find out more about what you can and can’t recycle, check the full list on our website here.

Next week I hope to look at paper recycling and where that goes.

Until then, keeeeeep recycling!

4 thoughts on “The sign of a good party is a full recycling bin

  1. Hildegard Hill

    On here you say we can recycle plastoc film, but our recycling calendar tells us “no thanks” to plastic film. Which is correct?


    • Hi Hildegard,

      Thanks for getting in touch and apologies for the delay coming back to you.

      Yes, there are so many different plastic items and types of plastic that it can seem confusing. There’s a handy page on our website that list plastics that can be recycled in your Green Week collection here .

      Your question on plastic film is a good one. You’ll see there are lots of film items that can be recycled but the film on the top of ready meals cannot, hence the reference on the printed Calendar. We’re going to get this added in to the ‘no’ list online so other residents know too.




  2. Karen Shergold

    Hi Reece,

    My Green box (glass/cans) has yet to be collected since the start of the new recycling programme. I have repeatedly reported via the website and receive the standard acknowledgements. Can you direct me to a person / email that I can follow up with direct please.

    Advanced thanks for your help.



    • Hello Karen,

      Sorry to hear that and thanks for using the online form to report it. If you could call our Customer Services direct on 01206 282700, one of our Advisors will look in to this for you.

      Thank you



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