Skip to content

Top tips when presenting plastic bottles and plastic packaging for collection

It's important to ensure that your recycling is properly prepared for collection. This ensures the maximum amount of your waste can be recycled... 


  • Squash your bottles down to save space and avoid overfilling your recycling containers. Overfilled boxes, bins and bags can often lead to items being blown out, littering pavements and roads.  
  • Remember to rinse out your bottles as foods or liquids left inside can lead to contamination within the recycling process and rejected loads that are unable to be recycled. Liquids and foods left inside recycling can damage the machinery, attract animals to site and cause a danger to them and the operatives. 
  • For information on whether to remove lids and trigger sprays visit our pages on your local area.


  • Try to remove food residue from containers as this can contaminate other recyclables, damage recycling machinery and ultimately lead to materials being rejected for recycling and a poor recycling quality. Pop them into the dishwasher with your dishes or rinse out at the end of washing up to save water. 
  • Remove plastic film from items like microwave meals and fruit punnets before recycling. These are made of a different kind of plastic, meaning they can't be recycled together. However, they can be recycled at most supermarkets.
  • Remember to remove any absorbent pads from fruit and meat trays as these are not recyclable and need to go in your non-recyclable bin. 
  • Remove and recycle any cardboard or paper sleeves separately

Make sure you check out your local council guidance for up-to-date rules where you are.

Helpful recycling guides

Hand soap bottle

Shampoo bottle

Kitchen cleaner bottle

Bleach bottle

Bathroom cleaner bottle

See more about Recycling plastics

Help us improve Gloucestershire Recycles

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.