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How to recycle your soft plastic so it doesn’t end up in landfill

Soft or ‘scrunchable’ plastics cannot be placed in your yellow top bin, but that doesn’t mean they have to end up in landfill. Instead you can recycle them at your local Coles and Woolworths supermarkets in a specially marked collection bin. This includes food packaging, plastic bags, cellophane, gift wrapping, bubble wrap and even potting mix bags.

  • 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.