Red Toothbrush


Wish-cycling: a common recycling misconception shared amongst most consumers

Your good intentions of trying to recycle almost everything you discard may in disrupt the recycling process. The non-recyclable items that you put into your recycling, hoping that they are recyclable, is a phenomenon known as wish-cycling. It’s a problem that majority aren’t aware of but are certainly guilty of.

Why is wish-cycling a problem?

Wish-cycling can have greater impacts than you might imagine. Non-recyclable or contaminated items can waste both time and money. Wish-cycled items can diminish the quality of the recycled product and lead to the disposal of a contaminated batch in a landfill. It’s the equivalent of washing a red shirt in a load of white clothes… it contaminates the entire load.

Education on what is recyclable is an important step in solving the wish-cycling crisis. Consumers are led to believe that items are recyclable based solely on the fact that they are plastic and/or contain the chasing arrows. These arrows, in the form of a triangle with a number inside are known as the resin identification number (RIN). They do not indicate whether the item is recyclable or not but give only an indication of the type of plastic the item is manufactured from. 

What can you do to recycle correctly?

  • Familiarise yourself with what BRS recycles. Not all recycling companies accept the same materials.

  • Do not assume all plastics are recyclable. Just because it has the resin identification number (RIN) (the chasing triangle with the number inside) or is made from plastic, does not mean it is recyclable.

  • Double check whether items are in fact recyclable. If you are uncertain, Contact us. We would love to help you!