A Swindon environmental group wants people to be more considerate about whether what they buy can be recycled.

Julian Jones, joint coordinator of Swindon Climate Action Network, is highlighting the dozens of household items that cannot be reused.

They include sticky notes, cotton buds, till receipts and lolly sticks.

He said: “From climate change to biodiversity perspectives, apart from reducing world population growth with smaller families, it’s energy, cars and planes, and meat and dairy that are the first priority.

“But it is important to reduce, reuse and recycle other stuff too, especially things containing rare elements. Avoid helium balloons.

“Electronics often contain rare elements. It’s important not to replace them unnecessarily and to recycle them properly at the council facility or sometimes via shops that sell them. More collection points would be good.

“Synthetic clothes shed plastic microfibres when washed and don’t biodegrade. Our economy should shift to more natural fibres like hemp.

“But in the meantime, be selective, save money and try to get fewer throwaway clothes and find things that you will enjoy wearing for years.

“Then when you get annoyed by those little things you can’t sensibly recycle like laminated plastic packaging films, thermal paper till receipts, plastic lolly sticks and cigarette butts. Try to avoid them.

"But let them remind you of the big picture things you can do while you put them in the general waste which will be incinerated.”

Sticky notes can not be recycled because of the glue. And cotton wool, cotton buds and make-up removal pads can only be composted it they have not had chemicals on them, such as disinfectant.

The Sustainable Swindon website, which is run by the council and aims to make Swindon more environmentally friendly says: “The way Swindon manages its waste today will not be sustainable in the long term.

“The Waste Strategy is our plan for the future to make sure Swindon’s waste and recycling is collected in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible, as well as reducing waste in the first place.”

Swindon’s waste strategy aims to “recycle more of the household waste residents generate by offering services and opportunities to recycle a wider range of materials”.