Cardboard and paper

cardboard box - recyclable

Cardboard and paper are widely recycled. 

Cardboard - how to recycle it

The main types of cardboard we use at home are corrugated cardboard, which is used for parcels, and cardboard used to package your shopping - like cereal boxes, egg cartons, ready meal sleeves etc. Both types can be recycled but councils sometimes collect them separately.

Did you know?

Egg boxes and other cardboard can be home composted!

What types of cardboard can be recycled

Cardboard boxes, corrugated cardboard and egg boxes can all be recycled but card that is greasy or contaminated with food (like really oily pizza boxes) can't be. When paper and cardboard are recycled, they are mixed with water and turned into slurry. Grease from pizza boxes causes oil to form at the top of the slurry which results in the paper fibers not separating from the oils during the pulping process. When the water is sqeezed out at the end to form new paper, it has spots and holes in it and so can't be used.

Paper - how to recycle it

Paper is one of the most valuable recyclable materials, but only when it's clean, so throw dirty paper in your rubbish bin (e.g. greasy/ oily paper and paper contaminated with food.)

Take the plastic wrapping that some newspapers, magazines and junk mail come in, and throw it in your rubbish bin.

If you scrunch paper and it doesn't spring back, you can recycle it! If it does then unfortunately it can't be recycled (e.g. metallic or plasticized paper)

Did you know?

Paper can be recycled up to seven times. You won't know how many times a product has been recycled when you’re buying it, so it's important to shop smart and recycle all the paper you can!

What types of paper can be recycled

  • Newspapers, magazines and catalogues

  • White paper and shredded paper
  • Envelopes, including those with windows
  • Junk mail and flyers

Don't recycle

  • Used paper towels, tissues, wet wipes and sanitary products (such as nappies)

  • Sticky paper (such as Post-it notes and sticky labels)

  • Metallic or glittery paper
  • Paper that's stained with grease, food, oil or paint

How paper is recycled