WI for the Modern Woman

Recycling and sustainability has been a very important part of The Brentwood Belles for some years now, and pre-pandemic we would regularly collect a variety of items for recycling at our monthly meetings. It’s great news to see that recycling has vastly improved since Covid.  There are now so many places locally that will recycle soft plastics (including crisp packets) and hard to recycle items, making it easier for you to take them to your local store rather than storing them up to bring to our WI meets.

One of our keen recycling Belles, Becky, carrying a basket full of crisp packets in one hand, and a box and two bags full of crisp bags in her other hand, ready for recycling.

Long standing member and passionate recycler Becky has kindly collated all of the info we need to know in order to allow us to continue our recycling efforts. Here’s Becky’s guide:

Soft Plastics

Soft plastics are lightweight plastics that often cannot be placed in recycling bins at home.

Including: baby, pet food, detergent and cleaning pouches, biscuits and chocolate wrapping, bread bags, bubble wrap and cling film, cereal liners, cheese, fish and meat wrapping, crisp and sweet bags, delivery bags, frozen food bags, multi-pack wrapping, plastic carrier bags, plastic film lids, salad, pasta, and rice bags, toilet roll wrapping

Participating Stores: Sainsbury’s Brentwood, Any Co-op, Tesco Extra, Gallows Corner

*Do remember to check the back of your packets as you go – I’ve noticed some plastics (a salad bag and Mini Roll wrappers to name two!) are marked ‘Do not recycle’ so these should go in your household general waste.

And continue to check as more product packaging is changing continuously so what you may not be able to recycle now, may change next week, month etc…

Coffee Cups

Any Costa or McDonalds will take any paper cup (not the lids). Some coffee cups are also bio-degradable and can go into compostable waste.

Make Up & Hard to Recycle Toiletries

Participating Stores : Boots – Brentwood, Billericay and Hornchurch High Streets; and The Brewery, Romford.

Hard to recycle plastic items that can’t be recycled in your household waste e.g mascaras, lipsticks, make up palettes, compacts, toothpaste tubes, hand cream, lotion pumps etc.

Boots will reward you 250 Advantage points every time you recycle 5 items – however this isn’t as simple as it seems. The points come in the form of a voucher which can only be redeemed when you spend £10 in store.

You need to create an account and sign up to Boots’ recycling scheme (different to your normal Boots log in).

Each time you have an item to recycle you take a photo and add it to your account. You must have a minimum of 5 items BEFORE you can drop them off in store – and they will need to be verified (which takes 24 hours).

Are you still with me?! I’ve signed up and I’m going to give it a go, but I’ve not tried it yet as I don’t have 5 items!

If you want further information on recycling locally check out and  they can help you locate your nearest recycling centre and hold up to date information on what you can recycle where.

Thank you for that well researched and useful information, Becky.


Don’t forget that we also recycle books in the sense of running our own library/book swap. Please keep any books that you think others will enjoy and bring them along to our next meeting.