- Make sure everything is dry (wet soft plastic materials can cause a mould problem) and as empty as possible. Recycling processes can tolerate a limited amount of contamination (such as a few crumbs).
- Do the ‘scrunch test’. If it’s plastic and can be ‘scrunched’ it can be recycled.
- Small paper labels are fine. A little paper doesn’t affect the recycling processes at all. If the label is bigger than A5 size, please peel or cut it off.
- If the item is marked ‘compostable’ or ‘biodegradable’ it’ cannot be recycled, as it will start to degrade before it’s processed.
Soft plastic items that can be recycled include:
- Bread bags
- Biscuit packet wrappers
- Bubble wrap (large pieces cut into A3 size pieces)
- Paper goods packaging
- Pasta & rice bags
- Frozen food & veggie bags
- Confectionary bags
- Plastic bags
- Cereal box liners
- Snap lock/zip lock bags
- Plastic sachets
- Netting produce bags (metal tags removed)
- Squeezy pouches (such as yoghurt & baby food) with the lid on to prevent any residual yoghurt or baby food squirting out.
Visit Redcycle for a comprehensive list of what you can and cannot recycle.
Where do the soft plastics go?
If you’re wondering what happens to your soft plastics once you’ve dropped them off at your local collection point – we’ve got the answer! They are taken to be processed and turned into a range of items by companies which are committed to improving our environment. Here are just a few of the products which contain recycled ‘scrunchable’ plastic:
- Park benches, chairs and tables
- Signage and bollards
- Plastic garden edging
- Raised garden beds
- Indoor and outdoor furniture
- Air conditioning mounting blocks
- The raw, processed product is even used as an ingredient in a durable surface for roads which won’t require as much maintenance.