All you need to know about recycling soft plastics…

Abi Reid baking away,  reducing food waste across South Yorkshire
Abi Reid
14 Feb 2022

Soft plastics are lightweight plastics that can be found in different many forms such as bread bags, crisp packets, biscuit wrappers and pasta bags.  These types of plastic cannot be placed in your recycling bins at home. But you can now recycle them at many supermarkets all across the UK.

Clear plastic bag

What types of soft plastics can be recycled?

Larger stores of major supermarkets:

  • All plastic bags, except biodegradable or compostable bags
  • Bread bags
  • Breakfast cereal liners
  • Bubble wrap
  • Delivery bags
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Frozen food bags
  • Magazine and newspaper wrappers
  • Multi-pack wrapping
  • Plastic marked as low-density polyethylene (LDPE) - resin ID code 4
  • Toilet roll wrapping

Selected stores of major supermarkets also accept:

  • Baby, pet food, detergent and cleaning pouches
  • Biscuits and chocolate wrapping
  • Cheese, fish and meat wrapping
  • Cling film
  • Crisp and sweet bags
  • Plastic film lids
  • Salad, pasta, and rice bags

Information via Recycle Now

Before you recycle your soft plastics, make sure they are clean. Rinse off any remaining bits of food on the packaging. It doesn’t have to be spotless, just a light rinse will do. Tear off any sticky labels where possible.


Please note that compostable and biodegradable bags cannot be recycled and if they are placed in bins with other soft plastics, it can cause quality issues and mean that entire loads can be rejected for recycling.


Right now, the Co-op supermarket has over 1,500 recycling points across the UK, with plans to add more and Tesco has collection points at every one of their large stores.

For more information and to find where you can recycle soft plastics near you visit:

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