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Recycling plastic

What goes in the grey recycling box?

  • plastic bottles
  • plastic pots and packaging
  • tubs
  • trays (no black plastic)
  • plastic lids

What can't I recycle?

  • compostable cups and cutlery

These are on the increase but we are unable to recycle them at the kerbside. The actual composting process cannot break the item down.

  • hard plastic (toys, light switches)

These cannot be broken down or are often not safe to recycle. Donate to one of our reuse shops in Winsford, Ellesmere Port or Chester. 

  • polystyrene

Polystyrene is not widely recycled in the UK because it does not react to heat in the same way as other plastics so it cannot be processed in the same way.

  • plastic film

Film can be soiled with food, which can attract pests or cause blockages in automated sorting machines. It cannot be processed in the same way as a plastic bottle or tub.

  • plastic bags

These are made of low-grade plastic which can’t be mixed with plastic bottles and pots. These can be recycled separately at supermarkets or you could use the bag for your food waste to put in your brown food bin.

  • chemical bottles/DIY plastic bottles

The content of these bottles may be hazardous so will not be accepted in your grey box.

  • black plastic

Plastic items are sorted by optical scanners which use the reflection of light to identify the types of plastics. Black plastic doesn’t reflect light, so cannot be seen and sorted by the scanners and could end up contaminating and discolouring other plastic.

Try to find an alternative to these items, donate and reuse what you can. As a last resort put these materials in your black household waste bin.

Where does the plastic go?

Our contractor Kier manage the collection and recycling of the plastics from the kerbside recycling scheme and work with a number of UK re-processors who sort the material by polymer type before being either being further processed by themselves or moved on to another market within the UK, EU or Asia.

The target materials within our mixed bottle collections are made up of:

  • HDPE (Milk/Detergent) bottles,
  • PET (Water/fizzy drink) bottles,
  • PP (Butter/sweet/container) tubs,
  • PS (Yoghurt pots).

The processors of these materials will shred/flake, hot chemical wash and compound (re-melt) the product back into a recyclable pellet to be made back into either sheets or blown packaging. The processed plastic may then be exported to other countries where they are used for the production of new plastic products.

The plastic which is collected via the kerbside recycling scheme is a valuable resource required by plastic manufacturing organisations around the world.

All recycling processors are regulated by the Environment Agency and approved by us prior to Kier being able to send materials there.

Kier in partnership continually reviews its end markets for recyclables to ensure they are suitable and environmentally compliant.


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