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First digital tool to tackle household recycling confusion

Zero Waste Scotland has launched a digital recycling tool to help combat confusion and meet Scottish recycling targets.

20 Sep 21

This Recycle Week (20-26 September 2021), Zero Waste Scotland is launching the first ever Recycling Sorter. The digital recycling tool will allow Scots to search what items can be recycled, and in which bin, in any Scottish local authority.   

Almost half of Scots admit that they could increase the amount of recycling they do, and many suffer from recycling confusion at some point during the process.  This tool will simplify and bring clarity to recycling ensuring that all households are recycling more of the right things in the right places. Sorting the right recyclable items into the right bin means they won’t needlessly end up in landfill.  

When it’s done right, recycling is one of the easiest everyday actions we can take to reduce our carbon footprint.  With the aim of recycling 70% of Scottish waste by 2025 and the equally ambitious climate change target of Scotland achieving net-zero emissions by 2045, Zero Waste Scotland is urging the public to play their part now.  

Research carried out by Zero Waste Scotland has shown that a third of Scots often aren’t sure about which items can and can’t be recycled. The Recycling Sorter is the centrepiece of a new Zero Waste Scotland campaign, launched today, called It’s Time to Get Recycling Sorted, to help increase the nation’s recycling abilities: ensuring householders know where to go for up-to-date information and to build awareness of how to recycle correctly.  

Ray Georgeson, Head of Resource Management, Waste and Recycling at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “We know there’s confusion out there surrounding recycling different materials and products at home. The Recycling Sorter takes people back to basics and cuts through confusion. The user-friendly tool will inform people of what items can and can't be recycled and how to prepare items for recycling – such as wash, squash, sort – and includes hints and tips to make it easier at home.   

“The national recycling rate is not going in the right direction fast enough and we need to act now to transform our national recycling performance. Research carried out by Zero Waste Scotland reveals that nearly half the population could definitely increase the amount of recycling they do.  

“Take action this Recycle Week, It’s Time to Get Recycling Sorted.”  

Playing on the fact that Scots can enjoy nightlife once again, the supporting creative campaign assets feature a security doorwoman guarding the residual waste bin with a cornered off rope barrier. When the householder approaches the bin with an item that could be recycled – they are informed of the no entry policy and told ‘no the night pal’.  

If you’re not sure what to recycle in your area visit Zero Waste Scotland’s Recycling Sorter for all the information you need.  


Notes For Editors



  • Recycle Week is an annual week of action across the UK, supported by Zero Waste Scotland, which celebrates recycling across the country.
  • It’s the one week of the year where we ask businesses, schools, local authorities, public sector, waste management companies and many more to come together and spur the public into recycling more of the right things, more often.
  • Zero Waste Scotland’s Corporate Plan can be read in full here. Research referenced - Consumer Behaviour and Attitude Surveys 2020, prepared by Brook Lyndhurst on behalf of Zero Waste Scotland (unpublished).
  • Zero Waste Scotland exists to lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly, focusing on where we can have the greatest impact on climate change.
  • Using evidence and insight, our goal is to inform policy, and motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic, and social benefits of a circular economy. Zero Waste Scotland is a not-for-profit environmental organisation, funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund.
  • More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland though via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  • For media enquiries please contact:
    Carly Bannerman

    3x1 Group

    T: 0141 221 0707 / 07870 908 267

    E: cbannerman@3x1.com

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