10 Items You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle

Thought you couldn’t recycle your toothbrush? Think again…

We’re often told to recycle more, but hands up if you stop at old newspapers and milk bottles? With a recent study by Recycle Now finding that despite eight out ten people believing recycling ‘makes a difference’, they had no idea how to – so here’s 10 things you  can recycle but might not know you could…


One of the most commonly used items in the home can be recycled. With dentists recommending that you change your toothbrush every three to four months, it is easy to make a difference every time you swap. There are different components of these products that can be recycled. The plastic holder and bristles have a variety of other uses when repurposed.


Got an arts and crafts box that you never use, filled with old and broken pens and highlighters? Then try recycling with The Writing Instruments Recycling Programme, where Terracycle and BIC have partnered to create this free program. Teaming up with schools around the world as collection points, the writing instruments are then separated by material composition, cleaned and melted into hard plastic that can be remoulded to make new recycled products.


Instead of clogging up space in your bedroom drawer why don’t you recycle your old handset? You could gift it to a younger relative or earn yourself a few quid for your trouble by trading it in on phone recycling specialist websites like Envirofone. Where 98% of the mobiles are reused.


If you are planning on re-decorating make sure you don’t just don’t throw away that old carpet. Instead, find a carpet recycling facility near you to take it away for recycling. Carpet Recycling UK’s mission is a world where 100% of all carpet waste is diverted from landfill through reuse and recycling.

Old bras

Whether they no longer fit or they’re wearing a bit thin, instead of throwing out old bras you can donate them to Smalls for All which collects and distributes underwear to help women and children in Africa. The Charity helps those living in orphanages, slums, IDP camps and schools, as well as providing underwear to hospitals.

Cigarette butts

If you’re a smoker who wants to be more conscious about what happens to your cigarette waste, listen up. TerraCycle has a cigarette butt recycling program. The cigarette butts they collect are used to make industrial items like plastic pallets, and leftover tobacco gets composted.

Makeup packaging

If you’re a makeup fiend, you know how little time it can take to use up all your makeup products. Thankfully, brands like MACAveda and Origins all have recycling programs in place for responsible disposal. To make it even sweeter, MAC rewards your recycling efforts with its Back To Mac service where you can swap six empty MAC cosmetics containers for a new tube of lipstick.

Wine corks

Turns out there is more than one good thing that comes out of a bottle of wine. Recorked UK is the UK’s leading natural wine cork recycling program. Simply donate your used cork, and they resell them. For every cork collected, they donate a percentage of their profit to a nominated charity. Recorked UK also supplies free corks to various charities and schools for use in craft projects.


Whether getting ready in a rush or have taken a tumble, we’ve all laddered tights. Once they’re a bit worse for wear, you can reincarnate them into one of the following: soft cloths, strainers, protective sheets for plants or even a flexible sling.

Coffee pods

Undoubtedly, coffee is a life force for many of us, and those dinky little pods can now continue their life after they satisfy your caffeine craving. Whilst the single-use pods used in many coffee machines are not usually accepted in your recycling collections from home, some coffee pods are collected by TerraCycle. They recycle them to create new products such as plastic baby bibs, notebook covers and park benches.


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