We should all be making an effort to recycle, especially our textiles – an estimated one billion items of clothing are sent to landfill every year, and the vast majority of them could be re-purposed and put to good use.
There are several stores that will recycle your clothes for free and some will even reward you with vouchers or loyalty points when you donate!
In Bristol Shopping Quarter, you can also recycle your shoes, your glasses, soft plastics (including crisp packets and bread bags), even your used light bulbs! And don’t forget you can donate good-condition items to the charity shops in Broadmead – British Heart Foundation, St Peter’s Hospice, and Tenovus
Please see below what you could do with the items you discard:
Recycle your clothes
Customers who shop in store with Blacks are now eligible to receive a 15% discount off their in-store purchases, by donating their quality unwanted clothing and footwear. Donations will be collected from Blacks and sent to one of British Heart Foundation’s 750 nationwide shops and stores (there is one in Bristol Shopping Quarter).
For further information, click HERE.
Give your unwanted gear a new lease of life at Cotswold Outdoor on Union Street where you can drop off jackets, fleeces, trousers, base layers, other clothing, paired shoes and boots, accessories (hats, gloves, belts etc.), as well as home textiles and items that are ripped, have holes or permanent stains.
They cannot take sleeping bags, tents, rucksacks, ski boots, ice skates, blankets or pillows.
Cotswold Outdoor also offer a Repair and Care service to ensure that favourite jacket lasts longer. Ask in store for further information.
For further information, click HERE.
When you visit Marks and Spencer in Broadmead you can drop off any unwanted clothes (not just those that are from M&S), simply put them into one of their ‘Shwop Drop’ bins and tell the customer assistant at the nearest till who will reward you with Sparks points.
Primark customers can recycle any brand of pre-loved clothes, textiles, footwear and bags at its Broadmead store as part of a new recycling scheme.
Known as the Primark In-Store Recycling Scheme, collection boxes will be available in 190 stores across the UK.
All donated items will be reused, recycled or repurposed, with nothing going to landfill, and profits from the scheme will go to UNICEF to support of its education programmes for vulnerable children around the world.
TK Maxx’s Give Up Clothes For Good scheme helps transform the items you no longer need into funds for life-saving research into children’s cancers. Simply donate a bag of pre-loved quality clothes, accessories or homeware to TK Maxx in Broadmead – you will find the collection bin on the ground floor.
You can donate items of clothing you no longer need (any brand and any condition) to the clothes collection point located near the doors at Zara Cabot Circus. Garments donated through this scheme are given to the British Red Cross, who sort the clothes, recycle fabrics to raise funds and sell donated items through their charity shops.
Recycle your rags
Recycle your rags (or unsellable clothes?) at the St Peter’s Hospice shop on Bond Street.
Recycle your shoes
Once you are ready to pass your shoes along, give them another lease of live by donating them to Clarks ShoeShare, which supports UNICEF as they strive to transform the lives of children everywhere.
Find out more about the scheme HERE.
Rieker‘s store Bristol Shopping Quarter store, opposite M&S in Broadmead, is a collection point for Shoe Aid, a national charity that sources and supplies free footwear through a collection and distribution network, so no child or adult need go without shoes. There’s a collection bin near the till, where any brand of footwear can be deposited without any interaction with staff (although Mobeen and his team will be delighted to help if needed).
Find out more HERE.
Recycle your old skate shoes (any brand) at Route One on The Horsefair. They will give them a second life by recycling them into Nike Grind, a material that can be used to make a variety of performance products. Help power the next generation of skaters by donating your used shoes today.
schuh, who have a store in Cabot Circus, have joined forces with Recyclatex for the Sell your Soles campaign, encouraging customers to recycle any unwanted footwear, rewarding them with a £5 voucher to redeem on a new pair at schuh.
Recyclatex ensure approximately 98% of all donations are recycled. Not only that, but for every tonne of footwear donated, Recyclatex will donate a sum of money to schuh, which they will then pass on to their chosen sustainable charity; World Land Trust.
For further information, including T&Cs, click HERE.
Recycle your spectacles and contact lenses
You can recycle your used contact lenses and contact lens boxes at Boots, just drop them into the bin located near the optician’s desk on the first floor.
Recycle your electrical items
Currys PC World
Drop off your old electrical items at Currys PC World in Cabot Circus. Items that can be recycled include: cameras, computers, DVD/CD players, toys and games, hairdryers and electric toothbrushes, laptops, microwave, mobile phones, table lamps, toasters, kettles, vacuums, and TVs. (Due to lack of space, they will not be able to take large items such as washing machines, dryers and ovens).
Recycle your household batteries
Drop off your old batteries at Boots, which you can enter via Broadmead or The Galleries, in the bin located by the photo department on the top floor.
Not only can you recycle household batteries at Robert Dyas in The Galleries, you can also drop off all types of light bulbs and Brita water filters for recycling.
You will find a bin in store where you can drop off your batteries and Brita filters but for safety reasons the light bulbs need to be handed in at the till.
Sainsbury’s by M&S in Broadmead will accept your used batteries. Look out for the bin by the tills.
Savers, located on the first (middle) floor of The Galleries will accept your old household batteries for recycling.
Drop your used batteries into Superdrug on Broadmead and they can recycle them for you through their membership of the Distributor Take Back Scheme.
Drop off your old batteries at Wilko on Union Street. The collection bin is located opposite the tills.
Recycle your medicine packets
Superdrug operates the UK’s first medicine packet recycling programme.
They’ve teamed up with brands Buscopan, Dulcolax and TerraCycle UK to include collection boxes in every Superdrug Pharmacy, so you can recycle your empty medicine blister packets. For every blister packet collected, TerraCycle® will donate points to Superdrug pharmacies to be redeemed into financial donations towards Marie Curie.
Start collecting empty medicine blisters so the next time you are able to visit your Superdrug pharmacy, you can drop them off in the dedicated collection boxes. Start collecting your little packs now and start making a big impact!
Find out more here: The Medicine Packet Recycling Programme
Recycle your mobile phone
O2 allows you to sell your old phone (from any network) through their O2 recycle scheme. You can also recycle tablets, MP3s, Kindles and wearables. All of the phones go to O2’s recycling partners to be processed in an environmentally friendly manner.
Devices can be recycled in store…
Standalone – If a customer wishes to trades in their device without doing an upgrade/new connection then the O2 team will check the phone in store, provide a provisional value and then send the phone off. The customer usually receives the money (if it has a monetary value) within 7-10 days.
Recycle credit – If a customer trades in the device at the same time as doing an upgrade/new connection, then the money can go straight onto a customer’s card, towards an upfront cost which is redeemed immediately, or both. There is also the option for it to be credited to an O2 bill.
Simply visit o2recycle.co.uk and follow the instructions.
ecoATM provides a convenient and responsible way for consumers to trade in pre-owned smartphones for instant payment, with the assurance that the devices will be recycled or reused.
You will find an ecoATM kiosk in The Galleries, it’s located on the top floor, near the entrance from Union Street. To receive a free trade-in quote, follow the following steps:
- Place your device in the ecoATM kiosk. Don’t worry – your device is safe and you may exit the process at any time.
- ecoATM will examine your device and give you their best price immediately. They don’t access any of your personal information during this evaluation.
- If you agree to sell it, you will receive instant payment.
You must be over 18 to use an ecoATM kiosk and will need a UK or EU drivers’ licence as ID.
For further information, including FAQs, visit uk.ecoatm.com/
Recycle your paper cup
For Cups Sake Bins
Bristol shoppers may have noticed some new bins that have popped up across Broadmead, The Galleries and Cabot Circus.
Bristol Waste’s For Cups Sake campaign will see 100 paper cup recycling bins rolled out across the city with the aim of recycling up to four million paper cups in the first year alone.
The bins can be found along key commuter routes throughout central Bristol, allowing people to recycle their cups on the go.
Click HERE to find out more.
You’ll find a recycling station for your cups near the door at Pret on the corner of Broadmead and Union Street – they ask you to separate liquids, lids and cups, using the containers provided.
Recycle your plastic and make-up containers
Together with No7, Boots are doing their bit to help keep our planet beautiful. That’s why they’re trialling a recycling scheme where you can bring your empty beauty, health, wellness and dental products, from any brand, that can’t be recycled at home.
You can earn extra Advantage Card points when you recycle at Boots – ask in store for details.
Click HERE for further information.
Lush in Broadmead recycle any of their own packaging. Simply hand your items for recycling to any member of staff.
“We’re all for customers bringing in their own containers here at Lush. The important thing for us is that they are clean and dry so that the quality of the product going into them won’t be compromised!”
To encourage recycling, Lush will give you 50p towards your Lush shopping per qualifying item you take back. This ‘deposit’ return will be taken off your total bill at the till-point for purchases on the same day. You can also claim a free fresh mask for every five full-sized Lush plastic packaging items you return. You’ll find further information, including the T&Cs, HERE.
Origins at House of Fraser
Origins say recycling with them is the ultimate way to recycle your cosmetic empties as they guarantee that the empty product packaging in its entirety will be recycled. They will accept any brand’s empties at their counter in House of Fraser in Cabot Circus and when you drop them off they will give you a free sample product to say thank you for taking the time to recycle.
The materials are washed, shredded and made into plastic pellets, which are reused and turned into anything from new bottles and containers to street signs and stationery.
Since the Return to Origins campaign was launched in 2010 they have recycled over 1.2 tonnes of empties!
L’Oreal has introduced make-up recycling bins across 1,000 UK stores in a push to encourage consumers to make up not make waste. Its make-up brand Maybelline is partnering with recycling firm TerraCycle to allow customers to recycle all make-up not just theirs. The locations include Superdrug on Broadmead.
Click HERE for further information about the scheme.
Recycle soft plastics, including cling film, crisp packets, bread bags, fruit and vegetable packaging, and pet food pouches at Tesco Metro on the corner of Broadmead and Union Street.
Following a successful trial, the store is one of 171 across the UK to host a soft plastics collection point and the company expects to collect and recycle 1,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of 150 million standard loaf bags!
You’ll find the collection point at the front of the store.
Find out more HERE.
The Body Shop
Love Your Body™ Club members will receive a reward worth £5 when they return any five of The Body Shop‘s empty bottles, tubs, tubes or pots to the store in Cabot Circus. T&Cs apply; ask in store for details.
You will also find a bin for recycling any of your plastic bottles in Broadmead, outside Lush.
Recycle your face covering
While we encourage the use of reusable face coverings, and you’ll find information about where to buy them in Bristol Shopping Quarter HERE, we understand that sometimes people do need to use the disposable variety and we’re delighted that from 1 April 2021, you’ll be able to recycle them at Wilko on Union Street.
The store is one of 150 around the UK taking part in the #ReclaimTheMask scheme, which will see your used masks recycled as building boards!
You’ll find further information HERE.
Recycle other items
Light bulbs – You can dispose of any kind of used light bulbs at Robert Dyas. For safety reasons, they need to be handed in at the till.
Brita water filters – You will find a collection point at Robert Dyas.
Nespresso capsules – Just pick up a bag from Starbucks (Merchant Street) and return it full with your used capsules.
Did you know?
- You can pick up Starbucks‘ brewed coffee-grounds, which can be used as a soil enricher, free of charge!
- Starbucks and Costa offers £0.25 off any beverage if you use your own cup (regardless of where it was purchased).
We will update this page as we hear about more recycling opportunities.
Could you repair or alter instead?
The reason some of our clothes remain unworn is because they no longer fit, need repairing, or they don’t suit our style or taste anymore. And sometimes we wear old favourites until they are literally falling apart, when a simple repair can give them a new lease of life.
To overcome this you can:
- look for shops nearby that offer repair and alteration services (see our list HERE)
- wear clothes in new combinations and use accessories to give clothing a new lease of life
- use energy efficient laundry methods
Bristol Climate Hub
Bristol Climate Hub is a fantastic resource, a place for discovering how we can all play our part in looking after the world. Visit it to get ideas, get inspired, and get involved.
Owing to the Covid-19 situation, it is possible not all of the above recycling schemes are currently in operation.