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Waste bin colours - what do they mean?


Waste bin colours - what do they mean?

Ecology is becoming increasingly important, not only in industry and production, but also in our households. From the first of January 2021, each household owner is obliged to separate waste, which implies the obligation to know the basic rules of waste separation. For many of us, this is a huge change, because until now, only 66% of Poles segregated their waste. However, it is not as easy as it may seem, as we often do not know what type of waste we have and in which bin it should end up. Segregation itself is not easy, so colourful rubbish bins make it easier. The colours show us what to put in a given container. To help you segregate your rubbish properly, it is worth equipping your home with coloured rubbish bins. The 5 colours will quickly become familiar to us and we will soon be able to segregate waste correctly. What do the different waste bins mean and how do you use them

What colours are in the waste bins?

Segregating waste can be quite a challenge, so it is worth getting to know the basic principles of segregation and, above all, pay attention to the availability of waste segregation bins and the colours into which they are divided. There is a fixed colour palette for all rubbish, the colours of which inform us which bin a given type of rubbish should go into. The most popular recycling bins are blue, yellow, green, brown, grey and black

What do the different litter bin colours mean?

As mentioned above, there are different types, sizes and shapes of waste baskets available on the market for waste separation, but the most popular and probably basic are the baskets in colours, which we will describe below


Blue waste bins (for paper)

Waste baskets in this colour are designed to collect paper and cardboard waste, e.g. ecological product packaging or cardboard boxes for courier deliveries. Please note that it must be dry and clean and made of 100% paper.

What can we put in these bins? E.g. paper, cardboard and cardboard packaging, old newspapers, magazines, catalogues (here it is worth making sure that they are made of paper), old leaflets, paper bags which can be bought in popular shops, notebooks and books (if we cannot give them to a library or give them to someone close)

What should we not put in these bins? For example, used paper towels after working with grease or other chemicals, varnished paper (so pay attention to what the leaflets or catalogues are made of), milk or other beverage cartons (they are often made of plastic)


Yellow waste bins (metals and plastics)

This colour is used for plastic, metal and multi-material packaging. It is important to remember that a milk container or a juice carton is not paper waste, but multi-material waste, and is only suitable for the yellow bin.

What can we throw away in these bins? E.g. plastic bottles of drinks, which must be crushed and unscrewed (it is worth collecting the caps and giving them to special containers intended for hospices), packaging of ready food products (after previous rinsing), packaging of hygienic products, old bags or single use plastic bags, old plastic toys

What cannot be thrown into these containers? E.g. packaging from medicines, car oil or other chemicals harmful to the environment, old or used electronic devices (it is worth remembering that in each city there are special places for such waste or so-called electro-demolition) or car parts


Green waste bins (glass)

A waste bin of this colour is intended for glass packaging e.g. glass bottles and jars

What can we throw away in these bins? For example, old drinks bottles, jars, broken plates and glass lampshades

What should we not put in the bin? Old flower pots and ceramics in general, heat-resistant glass (moulds for kitchen use are usually mixed with plastic), dirty candles or glass containers (old dirty ashtrays)


Brown waste bins (biodegradable)


Brown bins are used for biodegradable waste

What can we put in these bins? For example, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, spoilt fruit and vegetables etc., i.e. everything that is thrown away on the compost heap in some households

What can we not put in these bins? E.g. animal faeces, ash from the domestic oven, spoiled food such as old oil or frying oil, treated or oiled wood and other items after renovation that may seem biodegradable, e.g. chips, stones, earth


Black waste bins (mixed waste)

The black colour of this bin is reserved for mixed waste, or residual waste. As the name suggests, all other waste not classified in the above colours can be disposed of in this bin.

What can we put in these bins? For example, meat and fish, dairy products, frying oils, hygiene products, cigarette butts, leather, plastic packaging that is dirty from grease, hair, fur, feathers, used towels and other items that do not belong in the previous colours.

What can't we put in these bins? For example, building materials such as rubble, scraped off paint or mortar, tyres, expired medicines, batteries (some shops have special containers for this), electronic equipment (e.g. charger cables, chargers - all this is electronic waste). 



Colours of rubbish bins in the service of waste segregation - why is it worth doing it?

The separation of rubbish is extremely important. If everyone in every household takes care to put waste in the right containers, it will be easier to recycle, which will have a very positive impact on the whole environment. Coloured recycling bins make it easier for us to take care of nature in our daily lives, when we do not always have the time or inclination to remember in which bin we keep a particular type of waste. The colours of the recycling bins make this activity intuitive and do not hinder our everyday life.


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