Where to recycle soft plastics

We know that rigid plastics like milk and shampoo bottles and food trays go into our home recycling bins. But so much of the plastic which comes from our shopping is soft plastic packaging and cannot go into the kerbside collection.

Most of this has been going into general waste…but now the good news is that increasing numbers of the major supermarkets are providing collection points for soft plastic recycling.

Look for the collection bins at Tesco, Sainsburys and the Co-op. They are usually located just outside or near to the store entrance.

What are soft plastics?

They form a wide range of packaging and wrap on many of the products we buy. If you’re not sure, soft plastic is any type of plastic that you can scrunch in your hand, and pings back when you let go.


Carrier and plastic bags, bubble wrap, clingfilm

Wrapping from magazines etc., toilet rolls etc., nappies, clothing, flowers, multipacks

Packaging from household items e.g. rubber gloves, scourers, greeting cards

Dry food packaging from bread and other bread products, cereal box liners, pasta, rice, pulses, dried fruit etc., sugar, biscuits, snacks, chocolate, sweets, crisps, tea bags and ground/whole bean coffee.

Other food packaging including wrappers from veg, fruit, (including nets), salad, cheese, meat, fish, pies and pastries (not the hard plastic trays), pouches (pet and baby food, wipes and toiletry refills), sachets and frozen food bags.

Peelable thin film lids from ready meals, yoghurt etc.

Packaging must be clean

NO rubber gloves or PPE like disposable gloves or masks

NO compostable bags

NO foam or polystyrene

NO medical blister packs

See further details on supermarket websites: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op.