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Recycling mystery

Dear Editor,

Do you know what to put where? I have great sympathy for my in-laws. They live in a terrace house in West London and have seven containers into which all their household refuse has to be sorted. Here in Portugal, life is a lot simpler…..or is it?

Now that manufacturers are putting a colour coded symbol – even though some of us elderly primates will need a magnifying glass to see it – next to the recycling symbol on packaging we should have no problems.

Many people still put their Tetra Pak milk cartons in the paper and cardboard bin when they should go in the plastics and tins (yellow) container. Here, both the outer carton and inner sleeve of cereal packets go in the paper and card (blue) but in Spain the outer carton goes in the paper/card but the inner sleeve goes in the plastics bin.

To totally confuse me, I recently received a package in a padded envelope with the recycling symbol on it. The envelope is obviously paper whilst the bubble wrap inner is plastic. After many hours of trying to separate them I gave up and threw the lot in the general waste. There again, should we really bother when it will all probably end up in a landfill site in India?