Become a recycling ninja!

Thanks to a rubbish combo of limited landfill space, a lack of infrastructure and changing relationships with Europe and the rest of the world, Britain is facing a big deficit between the waste we create and our capacity to deal with it.

The good news is, recycling rates are on the up. In 2017, 70.2% of the UK’s packaging waste was either recycled or recovered (compared to 64.7% in 2015!).1

Although there’s still a fair bit of confusion about what can and can’t be recycled, and even whether our recycling ends up where it’s meant to, it’s still absolutely imperative that we stick to our good recycling habits.

Check out what waste your council recycles and get going. You’ll help prevent the need for new landfills and make sure recycling behaviour becomes the norm across the land!


Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.


With landfill taxes on the up and council budgets in tight demand, recycling your waste is a great way to help your council save money for the things that really need it - like libraries and local transport.

A word to the wise: do a bit of research to check what you can and can’t put in the recycling. Otherwise, there’s a small risk you might actually end up costing your council more!

Conserving resources

You can't make something out of nothing. Everytime a new product is made, we extract fresh resources from the earth – through mining, quarrying or tree felling. Unless, of course, it's made from magical recycled materials, like fleeces out of plastic bottles or insulation from old newspapers.

Climate change

It’s easy to forget that our stuff has an impact long after we’ve got rid of it.

In fact, landfills produce about 0.2% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions.3 So, to make sure your stuff has a positive impact rather than a negative one, make sure it doesn’t just go in the bin.

What’s more, making something from recycled materials is much less energy intensive than creating from scratch. Making tins from recycled aluminium uses a WHOPPING 95% less energy than creating tins from raw materials.2

3 hrs

Recycling one drinks can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours!3


It's strange to think of landfill sites as a precious resource, but they're filling up so quickly, some councils are already struggling to find space to bury our ever-growing mountains of waste.

By committing to reducing, reusing and recycling as much as of your household waste as possible - from composting your food waste to avoiding single-use plastics, to disposing of all plastic responsibly (including from your bathroom), you’ll help reduce the need to build more landfill sites around our country.

Global Goals

In September 2017, an historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'Tintin' pledge, you are contributing in your own small way to the following SDG targets:

12.2: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

12.5: By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning


When it comes to doing your recycling, a little bit of knowledge goes a long way. Here are a few tips to help you perform at the top of your recycling game:

1 - Check RecycleNow to find out what kind of recycling your council collects. Their handy postcode search tool provides all the waste-sorting info you could ever dream of.

2 - It’s important to give all those empty jars of peanut butter and tinned tomatoes a quick wash before you put them in the recycling. This helps reduce the workload at a recycling plant, and lowers the risk of contaminating a batch of recycling.

3 - Black? Clear? Bags? Recycling different types of plastics can be a bit confusing. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. This helpful ‘at a glance’ guide to packaging and plastic symbols will take your recycling to the next level.

4 - Don’t forget the bathroom! Shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, deodorants… if everyone in the UK recycled one bathroom cleaner bottle, it’d save enough energy to vacuum 82,460 homes.4 Here’s how to get your bathroom recycling up to scratch.

5 - Is everyone in your house doing their bit to recycle? Statistics show that women recycle more than men6… so here are a few more hints and tips to make sure everyone feels up to the job.

Success Stories


in total



Managed to see if there was anything that wasn't being recycled that I could improve and did so.

I have actively begun recycling and raising awareness of recycling to family and friends. I intend to continue and make this a part of my routine.

Recycling at home: 100% In the office: need to try harder

I help my mum to recycle every day and I put it in the blue council recycling bin.

Additional box/bin takes a bit of a space in the kitchen, but it reduces amount of trips to bin station

We now have a dedicated kerbside recycle bin in our kitchen but also a mixed plastic bin bin that we take to one of 6 points around Southampton for our other plastic to be recycled. This will continue and hopefully the council will put in more collection points as they are always full

Been more aware and repaired or recycled responsibly

recycle all paper, plastic, metals etc

Made much more of an effort, but still falling short of perfection

This pledge was surprisingly easy to achieve and we drastically minimised our waste output at home!

My recycle bin is full every week now for the pick up dustbin service.. :)

Few items did get mixed, but overall I am happy with what I've done.

I've cheated on a couple of things, but overall I am really proud.

Needing larger bags to fit everything in as when full don't recycle so the stuff collected before the bag is taken out is not recycled

Made me think more carefully about what can be recycled rather than just the obvious.

This gave me the kick I needed to start recycling properly. I'm even doing recycling for other people as well! Definitely going to keep this up.

I got better but didn't do as much as I would like to. This could be because I was extremely busy, but at the same time, my flat's kitchen was a mess so we all just threw all we could. One off items were recycled properly, but I didn't do as well as I hoped to.

It gave me the push to evaluate my current system, and I have now found ways of incorporating recycling into my every day routine, thus improving my recycling efficiency without the obstacles that stopped me from being consistent previously.

It started off as a bit of a chore but now I've made it a habit!

Well, this was in part thanks to Hubble, but with a little contribution from me. The whole office's recycling should now be far improved. :)

I am very keen on recycling and I have tried to educate my boyfriend in the last month what can be recycled, in what bin, etc. I also managed to start a recycling initiative in the BELL faculty at uni.

It takes a while to get used to what is recyclable and what isn't but it's so easy now :)

Regular recycler now.

I'm back in the recycle game!

I have developed this new habit of recycling waste because of this pledge and have really started understanding its importance for saving the environment. I will definitely continue with this pledge.