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Wash, squash and tops off plastic bottles to keep recycling moving

Article date - 21 July 2021

In warmer summer months households see their plastic recyclables on the rise as we turn to bottled water and pop to cool us down.
recycling containers rsz.jpeg

There are ecological reasons not to buy single-use plastics, but when we do it’s important to remember to wash, squash and leave the lids off plastic bottles and containers to save space in your pink collection bag and on the collection vehicles. 

The advice comes amid Plastic Free July, a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution, by choosing to refuse single-use plastics like straws, cups, bottles and food wrap – so we can have cleaner streets and oceans. 

Recycling tonnage soared during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many more people at home leading to more waste and recycling in the household.

And while any increase in recycling is positive, it has a direct impact on collections. More materials out for collection mean more stops at waste and recycling processing facilities, meaning delays become more frequent. 

Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: 

“We hope residents can get involved and spread the message about the ‘Wash, Squash and Lids Off’ campaign. It’s a small change to make on our part as residents, but it really will make a positive difference to our collections and reduce the frequency of delays that we’re seeing. 

“As part of our commitment to tackling the climate emergency we’ve already begun work on a comprehensive waste strategy review – looking at the way we reuse, reduce, recycle and treat waste and recycling generated in the borough. 

“There’ll be plenty of opportunities over the next year for residents to view the resulting proposals and have their say on the future of recycling and waste in St Helens, and I’m looking forward to sharing more details from the review in the coming months.”