What are the most difficult waste to recycle

Since human beings dispose of more and more waste to the environment, it has been necessary to start recycling plans in ecological points, in order to seek its reuse. This is possible with products such as cardboard, paper or glass, but there is still a lot of waste and scrap that is difficult to recycle and many others really cannot be recycled, and are even difficult to reuse.

Plastic bags

The United Nations (UN) estimates that around 500 billion plastic bags are used daily in the world . The use of these bags became widespread in 1970 and they have an average use time of 12 minutes, however, they have a great impact on the environment: the UN itself proposes it as the cause of the annual death of one million birds. and 100,000 marine mammals.

Spain has already taken some measures to reduce the use of these single-use plastics through measures such as charging them or the use of up to 50% biodegradable material in its composition by 2020 and 65% by 2025.

Coffee capsules are very difficult waste to recycle

A problem with these coffee capsules is that since they cannot be separated from the product they contain, it is not possible to consider them a container and throw them into the yellow container. The different brands and private entities are already taking measures, both for the collection and reuse of coffee capsules .

For example, in Spain it has about 150 recycling points for these capsules, although it still has a long way to go, since according to the OCU up to 73% of consumers throw these coffee capsules into the trash.

Wipes, diapers and pads

These are products whose composition makes them highly polluting and difficult to recycle . According to figures from the OCU, a baby can use up to 6,000 diapers in two years.

Currently, an industrial plant has already been inaugurated in Italy that is capable of recycling all these absorbent products . However, most of these products are not yet recycled, as the necessary technology is still expanding. Anyway, you have to choose to use pads and cloth diapers , as they are reusable.

The recycling process for bulbs is very complex, since each one is recycled in a different way and some cannot be recycled. The regulation that controls the management of this type of waste does not yet include incandescent or halogen, only fluorescent and LEDs.

At the time of disposal, each type of bulb must be recycled in a different way, since they have different materials. An alternative to non-recyclable ones is to reuse the bulbs and use creativity to transform them into pots, ornaments or vases.

Tetrabricks type containers

Some common consumer products are packaged with a mix of materials that makes their separation and recycling difficult.

An example is the cardboard tetrabrick or the polystyrene and aluminum plastics used for liquid and refrigerated foods. Recycling of these materials is possible in plants that have the necessary technology and at a high cost, due to the fact that their components must be separated.


The Aquae foundation estimates that 1 liter of oil can contaminate 1,000 liters of water . In addition, the fat they have can cause blockages in pipes and pipelines, and when it reaches rivers and seas, it creates a superficial film that affects the living beings that inhabit it.

Therefore, due to its great impact on the environment, the recycling of oil is essential and, therefore, clean points and urban containers should be used.

Medications and gum

The case of medicines is similar to that of oil, for example, dumping them down the drain pollutes the flora and fauna of rivers and oceans. Therefore, expired medications should be taken to the pharmacy or to the clean point .

Chewing gum is another highly polluting product, since being made of rubber, its degradation process is complex and takes years. The chewing gums should be disposed of in the general container and not in the yellow one. Currently, there is some initiative to recycle and reuse these products, such as containers made precisely of gum or its transformation even into shoe soles.

Toys, records and vinyls

It is common to think that toys are made of plastics and dispose of them in the yellow container , but this is only for packaging. Toy trucks, dolls, or RC cars are made from different materials and should be disposed of at the clean point . Although a better option for those toys in good condition is to give them away or donate them to organizations that bring them closer to other children.

In the case of CDs, records and vinyls, it is the same as with toys and, although they are made of plastic, they should not be disposed of in the yellow container, but it is best to take them to the clean point. You can also give them a second shelf life and use your imagination before throwing them away.

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