What are 10 examples of recyclable materials?

According to the United Nations (UN), only 9% of all the plastic that humanity has produced throughout history has been recycled. Without going any further, National Geographic points out that, by 2050, almost all species of seabirds on the planet will be eating plastic. If we add to this the fact that it is one of the wastes that takes the longest to decompose, the reflection is obvious: are we doing everything we can to recycle? Are you absolutely sure that you recycle as much waste as possible?

More than 11.2 billion tons of solid waste are collected every year. However, in many cases, the problem comes when we do not know what to recycle and what not or how to separate each component. For this reason, in this article, we explain everything about recyclable and non-recyclable materials.

Examples of Recyclable Materials

Recycling is a process that consists of a set of chemical and mechanical processes to obtain raw materials from products that have already been used.

Recycling is useful to produce new industrial or consumer products in a way that:

– the generation of waste and the damage to the environment is reduced.
– reduces the extraction of new natural raw materials
– it favors the economy, especially if the raw materials come from abroad.

Recycling consists of a set of chemical and mechanical processes.

Examples of Recyclable Materials:

– Boxes
– Glass
– Food packaging
– Organic waste for fuels
– Water bottles
– Soft drink bottles
– Cans
– Paper
– Cardboard
– Aluminum products
– Transport containers
– Metals
– Copper
– Iron
– Motor oils
– Clothing fabrics
– Cotton
– Linen
– CD
– Newspapers
– Magazines
– Envelopes
– Folders
– Transport boxes
– Alcoholic beverage bottles
– Cosmetic containers
– Perfume containers
– Cups

Ten recyclable materials and their use

As you may well know, there are materials that cannot be recycled (due to their composition or current use). However, there is also a long list of materials that can be recycled and that you can reuse in your daily life. Below we share with you which materials can be recycled:

Paper & Cardboard

We come into contact with paper and cardboard on a daily basis: in the magazines or newspapers we read, the boxes of some foods, the sheets we take notes on, our bills, folders, online order boxes, and more. Paper and cardboard are part of the recyclable materials since, when they reach the treatment plants, their fibers are extracted, and all those materials that are not paper or cardboard are eliminated.


Glass food or beverage containers are also part of the list of materials that can be recycled. It is important to bear in mind that the glass from cups, glasses, or other objects is not recyclable, so we should avoid putting them in the glass container.


Textiles are also recyclable materials (as well as reusable). However, in order to recycle fabrics properly, they must first be separated according to the material they are made of.


Another recyclable material that is part of our lives (whether we want it to be or not) is plastic. Although its use is being progressively reduced, we still have a lot to do and, precisely, its recycling is one of the fundamental tasks.


Aluminum cans and other containers are also part of our list of recyclable materials. As with paper, cardboard, and glass, the first step to recycling aluminum is its collection.

Organic Waste

Yes, organic waste is another recyclable material that is also beneficial to the environment. In this case, the organic waste generated at home is useful to become compost, a material that helps the fertility of our soils.

Household Appliances and Electronic Devices

Electronic waste is recyclable. Before recycling these appliances, it is important to make sure that they have really stopped working, otherwise, we can give them away or sell them at a reduced cost in order to continue extending their useful life.

Light bulbs

If we continue talking about clean points, we must mention light bulbs. These lighting objects are also recyclable materials, as long as we take them to the appropriate places for their treatment, such as clean points.

Used oil

Strange as it may seem, used oil is a material that can be recycled. In fact, if we are talking about edible oil, you can also reuse it at home for future recipes (as long as it is clean).


Last but not least, we finish the list of recyclable materials and their use with furniture. These decorative and functional objects that we have at home, in the office, or on our commercial premises tend to break down over time; however, wood, metal, plastic, or any other material from which they are made is recyclable.