Hard-to-Recycle Materials: Truro Area

Recycling is third in the National Waste Hierarchy coming after Reduction and ReUse.

We do need to reduce the amount of unnecessary waste we generate, which often has a harmful impact on the environment; and also purchase goods which can be repaired or reused, and with the minimum of packaging

For an insight into Reuse and Repair opportunities in the Truro (and Falmouth/Penryn areas) visit Too Good to Waste – Working Towards a Local Circular Economy on Transition Falmouth’s website

Recycling continues to be the next best positive option, and a key activity for saving natural resources from going to waste, reducing litter, and helping tackle climate change. Researchers agree that recycling and remanufacturing can save at least 30% of the carbon emissions that the original manufacturing process produces.

The current list below covers mostly drop-off points for plastics, but also some other previously hard-to-recycle materials. The list includes TerraCycle recycling programmes; collection bins now provided by supermarkets for “soft” or “flexible” plastics, plus services offered by some independent providers

A summary of the list by material is here :-

Contact Lens (and Spectacles)
Health, Beauty and Wellness Products
Inkjet and other Printer Cartridges
Medicine Blister Packs
Oral Care Products
Postage Stamps (used)
Soft and/or Flexible Plastic Packaging
Various Plastic and other Packaging
Writing Instruments – Plastic/Marker Pens (TBA)


Contact Lens (and Spectacles)

Visit Boots Opticians, River Street, Truro.
All types of used contact lens, blister packs and foil covers accepted. Collection box in store. Part of Terracycle programme.

Boots recycling box

or iBuntu Opticians at 66, Lemon Street, Truro (independent)
accept used contact lens for recycling. iBuntu also take unwanted spectacles, complete and in good condition, for reuse. These are collected and sent to Rotary York Ainstey for cleaning, sorting and grading to support Sight Projects in Africa. Visit https://www.ibuntu.co.uk/ to check opening hours

The National Lions Club HQ also collects unwanted spectacles and hearing aids for reuse and recycling at two of their centres to support Sight Projects across the world. No cases or cloths required.

They can be posted in the first instance to Club Headquarters at 257 Alcester Rd South, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 6DT. For more details email enquiries@lionsclubs.co.uk

And locally there is a Truro Lions collection point for specs and hearing aids in Kenwyn Parish Church, Church Road, Truro TR1 3UY. The Church is open most days.

Lions Club box (Kenwyn Church)

N.B. Some High Street Opticians including Vision Express and Specsavers in Truro are still able to accept unwanted glasses for reuse/recycling. Call in and ask.

Note that the principal charity they were supporting – Vision Aid Overseas – has ceased trading.


Health, Beauty, and Wellness Products


Boots in Pydar Street, Truro
will take all brands of beauty, healthcare and wellness product packaging and containers including these:-

  • made of composite materials  e.g. make-up palettes, compacts, lipsticks
  • made from non-recyclable materials e.g. toothpaste tubes, lotion pumps
  • small items e.g. travel minis, samples, mascaras

See boots.com/boots-recycling-scheme for details of their Reward Scheme

N.B. This Take-back Scheme is a Circular Economy Sustainability National Award Finalist for 2021


Inkjet and other Printer Cartridges

Currys PC World at Unit 1, Treliske Retail Park
accepts all makes of Toner and Inkjet Cartridges. Also offers a post-back service

Visit Truro Community Library in Pydar Street
all makes of Inkjet and Laser Cartridges accepted plus all makes of mobile phones.

Truro Library Cartridges recycling box

Check their facebook page for opening times

Truro Library also hosts a separate collection point for spent household batteries

Truro Computer Store at 21 River Street
accepts used Epson Printer Cartridges only for recycling. Call 01872 264350 for more details


Medicine Blister Packs

Visit Superdrug in Boscawen Street, Truro. All types of used blister packs are accepted in support of Marie Curie Nursing


Oral Care Products 

Visit Oak House Dental Practice, St.George’s Road, Truro.
Collection box in the waiting room for all plastic toothbrushes, spent toothpaste tubes and caps, plus electric and battery toothbrush heads and cartons. Part of Terracycle programme

Make sure to check opening hours by visiting https://www.the-oak-house.com or call 01872 222922


Postage Stamps (Used)

Various options for collecting stamps to raise much-needed funds for iSight Cornwall include:-

A collection box for stamps in the eye clinic of Treliske Hospital (Ophthalmology Department) Also you can call into The Sight Centre on Newham Road, Truro.

Freepost envelopes can also be sent out to those who have small quantities and who can’t make it to one of their collection boxes. For more details visit www.isightcornwall.org.uk/fundraising/stamps-appeal/

Kenwyn Parish Church, Church Road, Truro TR1 3UY hosts a collection box – accessible most days of the week

iSight Cornwall welcomes enquiries from organisations/individuals wishing to host a collection box – contact them on the above website for a poster to attach to any suitable collection box


Soft/ Flexible Plastic Packaging 

The Co-op Store, Boscawen Street, Truro
Accepts “soft” plastics including “crisp packets; sweet wrappers; plastic film; pet food pouches; and plastic bags” www.coop.co.uk/environment/soft-plastics

Access collection point just inside the door from St.Mary’s Street entrance

Sainsbury’s , Treyew Road, Truro (opposite County Hall)
Collection point outside the store (close by the ATMs) which accepts a wide range of “flexibleplastic packaging – see details www.about.sainsburys.co.uk/sustainability/plan-for-better/our-stories/2021/flexible-plastics

Tesco, Garras Wharf, Truro
Collection point located inside main entrance on the right which accepts soft” plastic packaging including any plastic bag; crisp packets; food and pet pouches; plastic wrappers; and any plastic film” More detail at www.tescoplc.com/news/2021/tesco-to-launch-uk-s-biggest-network-of-recycling-points-for-soft-plastic/


Various Plastic and other Packaging (TerraCycle Programmes)

Visit UpCycle Kernow, Portreath Retail Park, Portreath TR16 4QL

Many types of hard-to-recycle packaging – mostly plastic – are accepted

Upcycle Kernow is a Community Interest Company (CIC), and, although based outside the Truro area, it is included on account of the wide range of items accepted – including disposable gloves, Pringles cans, crisp packets, confectionery wrappers, home care products, cosmetics packaging and much more.

Check their website for full details www.upcyclekernow.org/recycle and for their opening hours

Call in when open, or use the large container provided outside building. Please ensure all recyclable packaging is separated and bagged according to each type of material collected.


Writing Instruments -Plastic/Marker Pens (TBA)

It is hoped a drop-off point can shortly be found in Truro City for used plastic pens (includes spent marker pens), but in the meantime, here are the nearest locations to Truro offering a collection facility.

Mount Hawke Academy: Rodda’s Road, Mount Hawke – call 01209 890230 for opening times
Portreath Community Primary School: Penberthy Road, Portreath – 01209 842542


Please note: The above list is a selection of some of the most popular hard-to-recycle items. Anyone wanting to check out all the Free Recycling Programmes offered by TerraCycle, nationally and locally, can visit their website www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades

Note: some providers collect in support of a charity of their choice

All entries were correct at the time of publishing – but things can change as providers change. Always check with individual locations before setting out for the first visit

Suggestions for additional entries or to report any changes contact us

December 2021

Reduce : Reuse :  Recycle !