There are all sorts of reasons why we don’t recycle. It’s too much effort. We don’t trust that it’s actually being recycled. Or we’re just not sure how or where to recycle it.

But these 10 fun recycling facts show why it’s so important we all keep doing our bit and will inspire you to keep recycling!

Recycling could save over one billion tons of CO2 emissions by 2030

There’s a reason that it’s known as the world’s ‘Seventh Resource’. Recycling has a crucial role to play in ensuring a greener future for everyone. It saves over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions every year, putting less strain on our natural resources.

Each of us can save SIX trees a year by choosing to recycle our paper waste

Trees are good for us! They cool us down, provide us with clean air and absorb carbon dioxide. Recycling one tonne of paper can save 17 trees and prevent them from being chopped down and used for raw materials.

And it’s never been easier to reduce your use of virgin paper products. Try making a simple swap, like buying recycled toilet paper.

Who Gives A Crap makes toilet tissue from 100% recycled paper waste and they donate 50% of their profits to help those with no access to working toilets.

More companies than ever are taking responsibility for their waste

Companies like Lidl, who has removed over one billion pieces of plastic from stores across the UK are finally taking action to reduce their environmental impact. Opting for packaging made from recycled materials and discouraging customers from using plastic bags.

First Mile's Specialist Recycling services are helping brands to enable their customers to recycle their products and packaging (which often can't go in regular household recycling). Our Free Post Recycling Scheme and low-cost, easy-to-use Return and Recycle Points make it easier than ever for anyone and everyone to recycle!

Coffee cups CAN be recycled

Although they’re lined with plastic, disposable coffee cups can be recycled through specialist recycling schemes.

First Mile offers specialist coffee cup recycling for businesses, so that coffee you drank last week could be used to create your next notepad!

Companies are also coming up with alternatives, like decent packaging, who create coffee cups made from plants. First Mile works with them to collect discarded coffee cups and turn them into compost.

The UK produces around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste each year

This food waste could make over 15 billion meals according to the most recent report by WRAP. Some companies, like Waitrose, have now come up with schemes to deliver their surplus food to vulnerable people.

You can take action by signing the ‘Stop the Rot!’ petition, which has already amassed over 300,000 signatures. The aim of the petition is to reduce the amount of food waste currently being produced by UK supermarkets.

You can recycle your old batteries at your local supermarket

We send an estimated 20,000 tonnes of old household batteries to UK landfill sites each year. They leak chemicals into the soil and water supply and can cause fires.

Some major supermarkets, such as Sainsbury’s, now offer battery-recycling facilities at their stores!

UK recycling rates for glass are 76.5% - one of the highest of any recyclable material

Glass bottles and jars are 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality, making recycled glass bottles a great alternative to plastic bottles.

Glass usually has a dedicated recycling stream, making it easier to know how to recycle your glass bottle - which shows the potential to raise the recycling rates of other materials through better recycling infrastructure.

Fast fashion sucks, but there’s never been a better time to go retro!

The fashion industry produces 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year and uses around 1.5 trillion litres of water annually.

Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to give that Y2K inspired outfit a go by shopping on secondhand marketplaces like eBay, Depop & Vinted. Better still, head down to your local charity shop and unearth some hidden gems.

Your old electronic gadgets contain 7% of the world's gold (yes, actually!)

Did you know over £8 billion of precious metals inside your electrical and electronic equipment are thrown away into landfill waste each year? This includes materials such as gold, platinum, and silver. So, it’s essential to recycle your electrical equipment responsibly.

First Mile has a dedicated WEEE recycling stream. Where, if possible, unwanted electrical items are repaired and reused. If they cannot be repaired, they are recycled and disposed of safely.

Aluminium can be recycled forever and ever and ever and...

Because it can be used repeatedly, around 75% of all the aluminium ever made is still in circulation. If you remember to recycle your used drink can, it can be back on the shelf in 60 days. This is why it's important to always recycle aluminium cans instead of throwing them in your household waste bin.

Next time you pick up your meal deal, think about getting a canned drink instead of a plastic bottle. Easy switches can make a big difference.

How can you recycle more?


Recycling doesn’t have to be difficult. Choose from our range of regular, one-off waste and recycling services and products and let First Mile manage your recycling and waste management, we ensure nothing goes to landfill sites.

Tell us what you need and we’ll be in touch with a tailored quote.