Whether it's giving packaging a quick rinse or taking stretchy plastic to a supermarket collection point, there's lots you can do to cut down on plastic waste and help the environment.
Add to the mix a postcode lottery on what types of recycling local councils will and won't collect, and it can become impossible to know if you're doing the right thing - or if it's even making a difference.
Here are some quick wins to maximise the amount you recycle.
Don't assume that all plastic is the same - look out for the mobius loop (recycling triangle), which indicates the type of plastic your packaging is made of and whether you can recycle it.
Read our to make sure you're up to date. For example, clear plastic bottles can be easily and widely recycled, while black plastic tubs - like that shown in our ready meal example below - can't be easily recycled.
Packaging for many of the products we buy is made up of several different materials. Where this is the case, break it down into the separate pieces.
As you can see in our ready meal example below, each piece of packaging may need to be disposed of differently.
Ensure that you remove all film from punnets made of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) plastic - used for soft fruit, for example - as the non-recyclable film will get in the way of the easily recyclable PET plastic.
While it's best to separate out bigger pieces of packaging, lids should remain on plastic bottles so that they can be easily recycled. The same is true of the metal lids on glass bottles. On their own, lids can be too small to make it through most recycling sorting machines.
They don't have to be sparkling, but large amounts of food left in a tin or jar, for example, could spill out and contaminate cardboard in a mixed load. Cardboard has to be clean to recycle.
If you have a choice between a plastic PET bottle and a combination carton such as a Tetra Pak, or between a plastic package and something that's made of cardboard, choose the most recyclable option.
You can take your supermarket plastic bags and any other stretchy Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) bags (such as those used to package potatoes and toilet roll) back to larger supermarkets to be recycled. Look out for signs pointing to plastic-bag collection points.
Alternatively, you can take them to recycling facilities such as your local household waste and recycling centre.