Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do with the lids on bottles and jars?
Lids should never be left on bottles and jars in the recycling bin.
Plastic lids are generally made of a different type of plastic to the container or bottle and they sometimes contain a non-recyclable rubber lining, both of which are difficult to remove after collection if left on. Plastic bottles are separated by weight. Often if the lid is left on with any liquid remaining in the bottle, the extra weight will cause the plastic bottle to be sorted into the glass sorting line and ultimately be disposed of or contaminate the glass. Additionally during the sorting process the bottles are compacted into bales. If the containers have lids on them they can't be compacted properly, or can cause danger to workers, because the air pressure inside causes the bales to burst.
Once removed, bottle lids smaller than a 50c coin are too small to be sorted and just fall through machinery so can not be recycled. They should be placed in the garbage bin. Plastic lids of bottles and jars that are larger than a 50c coin can be placed in the recycling bin loose.
Lids on glass jars are usually metal and must be removed before recycling. During the sorting process the metal is separated by magnet, but if it is attached to a glass jar the metal will not be separated and will end up contaminating the glass recycling. When removing metal lids for recycling, it is best to place them inside another metal container (such as a steel can) because the magnetic sorting process is not always strong enough to pick up small loose items such as lids.
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