Recycling plastics in Edinburgh

Plastics recycling can seem confusing because there are so many types, but our recycling services are easy to use.

Our collection services

In our kerbside and communal mixed recycling and packaging recycling bins, we collect clean plastic

  • bottles
  • pots
  • tubs
  • trays.

We don’t collect any other type of plastic. Please don’t put bags, wrappers, toys or any other type of plastic in your bin. 

Some tips to help with plastic recycling:

  • We recycle your shampoo, shower gel and household cleaner bottles too - don’t forget about them
  • Rinse the bottles and wash any food off pots, tubs and trays
  • You don't need to remove labels, but some bottles come wrapped in a sleeve made from a different plastic. Tear these off and put them in your non-recyclable waste bin.
  • We accept bottles with or without the tops but remove pump sprays before putting them in the bin.

Our contractor recycles these in their own recycling plants in England. Anything they can’t recycle is turned into fuel.

Find out more about getting the most from your recycling.

Use our recycling sorter to find out which bins to use

Avoiding plastics means less waste

Everything you buy or use has an impact on the environment. Recycling helps to reduce this but avoiding producing waste in the first place means even less impact.

Edinburgh has some great refill shops where you can bring your own tubs and bottles and refill them with dried foods, household cleaners and toiletries. Some supermarkets are also starting to develop refill stations in-store.

Plastic bags and wrappers

You can recycle plastic bags at larger supermarkets. They are starting to collect a wider range of plastic wrappers.

Find out about recycling plastic bags and wrappers.


You can recycle expanded polystyrene packaging from televisions, etc, at all our household waste recycling centres

Large plastic items

We can't collect and recycle large plastic items at our recycling centres at the moment. This includes items like garden furniture and toys.

We’re looking for a reliable recycling company who will take items and we’ll start to collect them again as soon as we can.

You can still take them to a household waste recycling centre to dispose of them, but we won’t be able to recycle them.

Other household plastics

Some types of plastics are much harder to collect, either due to their size or because they are made of a mix of materials and need specialist treatment.

Some shops have now started to provide collection points for things like lipstick packaging, pumps sprays and cosmetic packaging in store.

These include

Not all stores will offer the service, so check their websites to find out what they take and which stores provide this.

Terracycle are a specialist company who work with the big brands to provide recycling options for hard to recycle items such as crisp packets, food wrappers and even stationery.

Terracycle lists lots of different collections. Their collection points are run by volunteers. Sometimes they are in places like schools and offices, so may not always be open to everyone, but some sites are open to the public.