Avoid buying shower gel or liquid soap. A bar of soap, solid or concentrated shampoos and conditioners last much longer, are often less expensive and use less packaging. Refill shops and Lush sell these.
If you use bottled water, save money and resources by buying a water jug with a filter to use instead. This will also save you time at the shops and save you from having to carry heavy bottles home! See also Water Filters.
Save money, reduce plastic and reduce the amount of chemicals you use by making and using your own household cleaning products. They are much easier to make than you may think as they use simple and easily available ingredients such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. For 'recipes', do a search online for 'environmentally friendly cleaning products recipes'.
Refill water bottles rather than buying new ones. This saves you money, time and resources.
Use returnable milk bottles instead of buying milk in plastic bottles. See GLASS for details.
Ecover products can be refilled at quite a few local shops throughout Edinburgh, the Lothians. For contacts: T: 08451 302 230 or do a postcode search via: W: www.ecover.com.
Cut off the tops of plastic drinks bottles to make an instant funnel; the bottom half makes a mini greenhouse for individual seedlings (pierce for ventilation).
Fill a plastic drinks bottle with water and place in toilet cistern to save the amount of water you use when flushing.
Edinburgh: Edinburgh's kerbside recycling accepts plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays.
For East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian place bottles into your kerbside collection box or bin (See KERBSIDE RECYCLING). They can also be taken to Household Waste Recycling Centres in all areas. See COMMUNITY RECYCLING CENTRES.
Please note that no other types of plastic other then bottles are accepted for recycling in Midlothian and West Lothian. In Midlothian and West Lothian only type 1 (PET/PETE) and type 2 (HDPE) bottles are accepted. Check the bottom of the bottle for the type of plastic.
It is possible that other types of plastic will be collected for recycling in the future, as the local markets for these continue to improve.
Use the SNUB (Say No To Unwanted Bags) technique when you go shopping.
Some supermarkets will sell, or exchange carrier bags for a 'bag for life', providing strong reusable plastic bags for your shopping.
Buy unbleached cotton cloth bags, which can be easily washed and used again and again. Available by mail order (See Mail Order Catalogues).
Save all clean plastic and polythene bags for reuse.
Most charity shops accept clean carrier bags for reuse. See CHARITY SHOPS.
All ASDA, Morrisons, large Tesco and Sainsbury's supermarkets have plastic carrier bag recycling facilities. Some smaller Tesco and Sainsbury's stores do too. Please check at your local store. IKEA also accept back its own plastic carrier bags for recycling.
Supermarket-type carrier bags are accepted in the Scottish Borders kerbside collection. See KERBSIDE RECYCLING.
Plastic food containers
Buy loose fruit and vegetables when and where possible.
Plastic pots, tubs, trays, tops & straws (removed from containers) are accepted in the East Lothian kerbside collection. See Kerbside Recycling.
Expandable polystyrene (EPS) and bubble wrap
EPS is the white polystyrene commonly used as protective packaging.
Use scrunched up paper as packaging instead of buying polystyrene. This can then be recycled after use.
Plastic vending cups
Minimise use by using non-disposable cups that can be used again and again.
Save-A-Cup is a not-for-profit organisation that recycles hard-walled polystyrene cups (with the number 6 recycling symbol on the bottom). The minimum pick-up is three bags:
T: 01494 510 167
Recycle polythene at supermarket carrier bag collection points at larger stores of Asda, Co-operative, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose.
The plastic that is accepted for recycling is from: wrapping from bakery goods, breakfast cereal liners, packaging for household goods such as toilet roll wrap, plastic-wrapped grocery produce and multipack shrink-wrap.
Look for the on-pack recycling label will advise consumers to recycle the packaging at supermarket carrier bag collection points.
To recycle polythene packaging, carrier bags and wrappers from magazines, enclose your name and address and send your package to:
Polyprint Mailing Films Ltd.
Rackheath Industrial Estate
T: 01603 721 807
Printed and unprinted polythene wrappers and bags can be recycled, provided all paper labels, sellotape and food remnants etc. have been removed. The recycling codes that apply are numbers 2 and 4.
Polythene marked as degradable affects the recycling process. If any of this material is present (e.g. some supermarket carrier bags), then the whole batch will be rejected and sent to a landfill site.
Other materials such as cellophane can be differentiated from polythene as they usually sound crinkly when touched. Polythene will also stretch fairly easily whereas the others do not.
Use a box or pack the wrappers flat/rolled. Please mark your package 'For Recycling' and ensure the appropriate postage.
Non-packaging hard plastics
The following clean hard plastic items are accepted at the Kinwegar Recycling Centre in East Lothian. See Community Recycling Centres East Lothian