Types of plastic and how to recycle them

What plastic can be recycled at home and at a recycling centre.

Plastic that can be recycled in your recycling collection and at a recycling centre

  • All bottles and tops – including drinks bottles, shampoo bottles and bleach bottles
  • Food and toiletry pots – including yogurt pots, hummus pots and moisturiser pots
  • Tubs and trays – including butter tubs, ready meal trays and medicine tubs

Plastic that can be recycled just at a recycling centre

  • Large plastic garden toys (slides etc)
  • Buckets, bowls and baskets 
  • Garden furniture 
  • Wheelie bins, recycling boxes, food caddies 
  • Storage boxes and crates
  • Water butts 

Plastic that can't be recycled in your recycling collection or at a recycling centre

  • Crisp packets *
  • Chocolate wrappers *
  • Salad bags
  • Film lids
  • CD and DVD cases
  • Fruit netting
  • Polystyrene
  • Disposable razors
  • Coffee machine pods *
  • Pet food pouches *
  • Hard plastic pots such as flower pots
  • Baby/face wipes and their packaging

* certain types of these can be recycled at public donation points provided by the manufacturer – please visit Terracycle for details

Black plastic can’t be recycled in your blue bin if you live in the Cherwell District Council area.

Where can I find out more about the types of plastic?

Information on the types of plastic and what they are used for can be found on WRAP’s Clear on Plastic website.

What about biodegradable, bio-based or compostable packaging?

Biodegradable packaging is designed to break down quicker than traditional plastics. It can't currently be collected for recycling so please put them into your rubbish bin.

Bio-based plastics have been produced from natural sources such as sugar cane, corn, potatoes, grains or vegetable oils. They usually have a lower carbon footprint in their production than traditional plastic from fossil fuels. They can be made into non-biodegradable, biodegradable or compostable and it is often difficult to tell which they are. They cannot be recycled.

Compostable plastics are designed to decompose in certain composting conditions. Compostable liners can be used to line your food caddy, but currently we do not have any facilities able to process compostable plastics such as coffee cups or trays, so these should be placed in your home compost bin or rubbish bin.

Reducing your plastic use

  • Say no to straws or carry your own bamboo or metal ones
  • Remember to take your shopping bags with you
  • Bring a reusable coffee cup if you have one on the go
  • Find your nearest refill station to fill up your water bottle
  • Take your lunch to work in reusable containers
  • Use cloth nappies instead of disposables on your baby
  • Try shampoo bars or soap instead of bottled cosmetics

Part of Oxfordshire Recycles

This information is from Oxfordshire Recycles, a partnership of Oxfordshire’s county and district councils working together to reduce waste.