Five Recyclable Items That You’ve Been Throwing Away

We all want to do more for our planet. One thing we can all do is recycling, so here are five things that are surprisingly recyclable.

Reducing, reusing, and recycling can help protect our planet. But so many common products don’t seem recyclable at all. 

Before you rush to send anything off to the landfill, consider doing a little research. There are many unusual ways for everyday items to be recycled.

Companies such as TerraCycle partner with large companies to tackle hard-to-recycle materials. These include razors, disposable gloves, coffee capsules, party supplies, and so much more!


Mascara Wands

The makeup industry is known for being incredibly wasteful. In fact, this $500 billion industry creates more than 120 billion units of packaging every year. 

This costs us 18 million acres of forest annually and most of it ends up in the landfill. 

While there are zero-waste makeup solutions out there, it is also important to recycle what you can. 

Old mascara wands can save wildlife! Wands for Wildlife started in 2017 and they collect used wands to clean the fur and feathers of wild animals. 



Colourful markers bring joy to children and adults alike. However, they are encased in plastic and it’s always sad to throw used markers away once they dry up. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to do that anymore because of programs like TerraCycle, ColorCycle, and Dixon Recycle.

Most marker recyclers require a larger amount of markers to be shipped to them. 

Consider setting up a collection box at your office, workplace, or an educational facility to make the world a greener place.


Contact Lenses

It is hard to choose between being able to see and not polluting the planet. 

Contact lenses come packaged in a lot of plastic to keep them moist, clean, safe, and easy to transport. However, the packaging and lenses themselves end up disastrous.

 In fact, 780 million contact lenses are thrown away in the UK and up to 2.9 billion in the USA every year. 

Contact Lenses
Good Eye-dea: Contact Lenses are also recyclable

Luckily, TerraCycle offers a program to combat this eyesore of a waste. The programme is run by Bausch & Lomb and Terracycle and they accept contact lenses as well as the blister packs. 

You can find a drop off location near you on TerraCycle’s website, most are at optometrist offices.


Brita Filters

Keeping the water in your home clean at the expense of polluting our oceans is the epitome of irony. 

Luckily, Brita has a programme to keep all of its products including filters, pitchers, dispensers, and bottles out of landfills. 

Not only does it help the environment, but they will also reward you with My Brita™ points that can be redeemed. 

Brita has partnered with both TerraCycle and Haws to make this possible.



Bras are essential to the comfort of billions of women around the world. But with weight fluctuation and the passing of time, they inevitably need to be replaced periodically. 

The ‘breast’ way to make sure that your bra doesn’t end up unused in your “drawers” or discarded in the landfill is via a bra recycling program.

The Bra Recyclers accept donations of new and used brasiers and donate them to those in need. 

So far they have donated an impressive four million bras to 100 non-profits around the world. 

They promote a circular economy to reduce waste and greenhouse gasses as well as optimizing company resources and extend the lifecycle of consumer products.

Our society is all about quick fashion and trends, which unfortunately leads to a lot of waste. 

It is best to opt for zero-waste options and to reduce our consumption of items that aren’t sustainable. 

Reusing is another great option where second-hand shopping comes into play. Recycling, although last on the list, is still important. 

Check out TerraCycle to find out if that item you’re about to throw away can be recycled. 

TerraCycle partners with companies all over the world to tackle hard-to-recycle materials. Check them out and consider looking for similar local programs as well.

Recycling isn’t the only thing you can do around your house to help. How about growing your own plants?

Windowsill Gardening Tips for Small Homes

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