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5 everyday items you are NOT suppose to recycle

Many of us are told to recycle since a young age, but how do we go about doing so? Chances are that you are sometimes getting confused by what you can and cannot recycle. Recycling is much more complex than simply sorting items into plastic, paper, glass and metal bins. In today’s article, let’s talk about some items that you thought you could recycle, while you cannot. We will also include some tips on how to upcycle some of these instead or which reusable alternatives, other than our bamboo cutlery set, to choose!


Receipts are paper, aren’t they? So why would you not recycle them? Well, that is because they are a little more than just paper. Thermal paper, which they are printed on, contain BPA. When receipts are put into recycling, they can contaminate a whole batch with this nasty chemical, deeming it unrecyclable as a whole.

While it may sound like a great idea to reuse or upcycle receipts, be careful. Because of the BPA content, it is simply best to ask for no receipt or, when you have no choice, throw it out and thoroughly wash your hands afterwards.

Takeout packaging

Most takeout packaging, including pizza boxes, may look recyclable at first. However, it has most likely been contaminated will all sort of grease that makes the packaging unrecyclable. Luckily, if they are cardboard containers are not lined with plastic, they can be composted.

An even better way to limit your waste is to simply choose reusable alternatives you can bring when buying takeout, such as a stainless-steel food box and a stylish bamboo cutlery set.

Plastic bags

A way we have seen some people sort their recycling is by putting it all in one plastic bag which they then tie and throw into the recycling bin. However, not only are plastic bags not recyclable because they can clog recycling machines, but if you put all your recycling in and tie it, that makes the contents unrecyclable too!

The obvious solution would be to bring your own reusable bag, we do not need any more polluting plastic bags in the 21stcentury!

Small metal pieces

Metals are a great material to recycle since they can go through the process an unlimited number of times. However, some smaller pieces of metal, while recyclable in theory, should not be put in the recycling bin. This is because they often remain undetected and can also clog recycling machinery.

One material that often gets thrown away in small pieces is aluminium foil. To avoid these issues, either create a large ball out of the smaller pieces or switch to a reusable alternative like beeswax wraps!

To-go coffee cups

Most takeaway coffee cups may seem to be made of only paper at first, but they are lined with a layer of plastic that makes them waterproof and very difficult to recycle. The best way to avoid this is opting for a reusable to-go cup, which often also gets you a discount in coffee shops! If you do have any single-use coffee cups in your home, you can also upcycle them if you enjoy crafting, for example, turn them into pencil holders.