Recycling. Most people agree it’s essentially good. In fact according to a recent article 99% of Britain's actively recycle in order to protect the planet. This is definitely a stat worth shouting about; plastic has been hitting the headlines big time recently after the success of Blue Planet II and we’re becoming increasingly aware that when we throw our rubbish away it doesn’t just disappear. It’s incredibly important to keep materials in the loop, but are we recycling the right stuff?

With each council having its own rules the consensus on what you can and can’t recycle can be a little bit muddled and if recycling is contaminated it can mean that it never gets a second life. Luckily there are some hard and fast rules you can follow wherever you are to make sure as much as possible can be recycled. These rules are pretty universal but for the full list of what you can recycle in your area head to your councils website!

1) Give stuff a rinse. It doesn’t have to be perfect but getting as much food out of containers as you can makes plastic and aluminum much easier to recycle.

2) Most coffee cups aren’t recyclable (yet!) while they’re mostly cardboard coffee cups are lined with a film of plastic which means it can’t be recycled in normal centres.

3) Black plastic trays are often coloured with carbon black which makes it undetectable for a lot of sorting machines. This means a lot of black plastic ends up as residue either to be burned or sent to landfill. An easy way to avoid this is to try and buy food in clear or white plastic when you’re at the supermarket!

4) Batteries can’t be recycled in your curbside collection and they can cause trouble if left in landfill leaching chemicals into the soil. But never fear they are super easy to recycle in most major supermarkets and electronics retailers.

To find our what happens to our recycling after bin day the Hubbub Investigates team donned their detective gear and headed down to the Suez recycling plant in Birmingham. To get a behind the scene look watch the video below!