Is recycling just an excuse to carry on producing more plastic?


Recycling existing plastic reduces the need for new plastic to be made, which is beneficial for the environment.

recycled plastic bottles forming the word 'recycling'

Plastic is a valuable resource, which we need to keep in the economy and out of the environment, just like any other material. Recycling keeps plastic in use and stops it from being thrown away.

Recycling one 500ml plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a lightbulb for nine hours.

In some cases plastic may be the best and most environmentally-friendly option for the purpose it has been designed for, including:

  • safely packaging substances such as medicines
  • increasing the shelf life of food
  • preventing goods being wasted.

It’s not realistic to think we can remove plastic packaging completely from our lives. But we can, and should, take steps to stop it polluting our environment.

We can’t just recycle our way out of the plastic waste problem, we need to reduce and re-use too.

To find out more about what to recycle where you live, visit