Closing the Loop using 5 recycled materials

For recycling to work its end product has to have a commercial worth. We need to be able to make the recycled materials into new products. As consumers, we need to be looking at what we buy and considering whether the item is available in recycled materials.

Last year at our local Tidy Tip, it had a recycling bin for hard plastics. It was in constant use but then it disappeared, and the feedback was that while it was popular with the recyclers, there was just not the demand for recycled plastic. Which is a massive shame as plastic is never going degrade in a landfill.

Using recycled material is always preferable to using a new virgin one, but I personally find it difficult if its a plastic, even if its recycled, which is just silly. I think it is just so ingrained that plastic is a no-no that I have to remind myself that I am re-using the plastic in laundry pegs rather than buying new wooden ones.

Below is a list of things I use in my day to day life that is made using recycled materials. As usual for me, I much prefer if I can source something UK made as I love to support my own economy, but sometimes that’s just not possible. You can only do the best you can!

Ecoforce Recycled Peg basket

Plastics. Plastic’s are recycled into many items now, from rubbish bags (Suma) & scrubbing cloths (Ecoforce). Personally, I never want to put any plastic into landfill, whether it’s recycled or not. So I try to pick items that I consider long-lived (my previous laundry basket lasted me 8 years!) and products that may be able to be recycled at the end of its life.

Essential items to use are Laundry pegs made from recycled plastic and made in the UK. Ecoforce 24 pegs with a basket made from 93% plastic available from £2.99 at Big Green Smile and peg refills from Amazon.

Laundry Basket – Recycled Plastic basket £7 from John Lewis. The plastic is sourced from mainland Europe, from a wide range of discarded household plastics including CD/DVD cases, old plastic toys, clothes hangers and health and beauty products.

If You Care Aluminum Foil
If You Care 100% Recycled Aluminum Foil

Metals – Aluminum Foil made from Recycled Aluminum is made by If You Care, a Swedish Company, and the only company that I know of that produce this most simple of products. Using recycled aluminium saves 95% energy compared to using new Aluminum. With great reviews, I cannot see why you would need to use virgin aluminium to make your foil.

At the end of its use, it can be cleaned and popped into the kerbside recycling box as Aluminum can be recycled indefinitely.

Available widely from Ethical Superstore  & Big Green Smile 10m for £3.25

Fabrics. Socks & Hosiery –  Made from recycled materials, plastic bottles, and old fishing nets (Econyl® ). A brilliant way to recycle. Just don’t forget your Guppyfriend

Thought –  Based in the UK. Made in China. Fluffy socks made from 99% recycled Polyester, perfect for those cold winter floors ( I use them for slippers as my dogs tend to like slippers too much) & Anna Recycled Tights made from 92% recycled plastics. Available from Thought & Sock Shop

Healthy Seas – Dutch company, Socks made in China, Turkey or Portugal. Made using GOTS-certified organic cotton and Econyl® yarn, produced by recycling waste fishing nets, and using Fair Wear monitored working. Available from Sock Shop.

Thunder Love – Made in a small village in the North West of Spain, from cotton remanents from the fashion industry. These would typically be sent to landfill. Available from £21.50 from Amazon they come beautifully packaged and make a great gift,

Solmate Socks – Made in North Carolina USA, from remanent cotton and polyester from the fashion production industry. Founded in 2000 with the thought that “life is too short for matching socks” these are brightly coloured mismatching socks.  Available from £14.95 from Amazon

At the end of its productive life, the socks can be recycled.

Ecoleaf Toilet Tissue
Ecoleaf Toilet Tissue

Paper. Recycled Toilet Tissue – Each day, 270,000 trees are felled to make toilet paper. In the UK we consume a staggering 1.3 million tonnes every year, 1.1 million of those tonnes are imported in. Toilet tissue made from UK recycled paper & made in the UK is a simple, easy ethical buy.

Toilet paper made using recycled paper rather than trees saves energy of up to 40-60%, and when its made in the UK, it reduces the transport costs to the environment.

The UK has 2 major brands that make Toilet Tissue in the UK from our recycled paper waste. Suma Coop & Essential Trading Coop. Both brands are an Ethical Best Buy for Toilet Tissue.

Suma Coop makes its own version branded”Ecoleaf”. Ecoleaf is made in the UK from UK recycled paper and comes in a compostable wrap.

Other Ecoleaf recycled paper products include Kitchen Roll & Tissues.

Available in packs of 4, 9 & 12 online from Ethical Superstore, Planet Organic 

Essential Trading is made from 100% washed recycled paper from office waste with the ink removed through an oxygen bleaching process using soap and air.

Available from Ethical Superstore in packs of 4 for £1.99

Other non-UK recycled Toilet Tissues include:

Who Gives A Crap –  Australian Company, Made in China, Shipped to the UK, 50% off profits donated to Wateraid.

Available – Cost 48 rolls for £36  from Who Gives a Crap. or Amazon & Ethical Superstore do smaller packs

Renova Green – Portuguese Company, Made in EU, Shipped to the UK

Available from Amazon  & Ethical Superstore

If you have followed me for a while, you will know I am passionate about buying UK made toilet paper! (strange I know!). I just don’t understand if we make something in this country, why you would buy something made and shipped from China?

Anyhow this list could have gone on and on, but this is a list of the current items I use, I did find some lovely household items while I was researching, so that can wait for another post.

Let me know what else you use which is made from recyclable materials!

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