Recycling put out in plastic bags will not be collected by our crews due to the issues they cause. On this page you can find out how plastic bags and other plastic film cause issues in our recycling system and what you can do to help instead.
How plastic bags cause problems:
- Plastic bags containing a mix of steel cans, aluminium cans, and plastic bottles can’t be mechanically separated at our recycling depot. They end up sticking altogether to the steel magnet and the whole bag ends up in the ‘steel’ bay, mixed. This means we have to run the material through the machine again, which adds cost and time to the process.
- Plastic bags and film can snag on belts and other bits of machinery. Breakdowns can be expensive to repair, result in lost working time, and means the material has to go through the machine more than once.
- When the crew try to split plastic carrier bags at the kerbside, the collectors can’t clearly see what’s in the bag. This is a safety issue, can lead to mess on the road and increases contamination issues resulting in poor quality material for resale.
- In fact most people think plastic bags are a blight on their community. So much so that supermarkets in England charge 5p per plastic bag in a national effort to reduce the amount of plastic bags in our communities. We would urge residents who are struggling for capacity to order more recycling containers online.
Where to recycle plastic film and carrier bags:
Most large supermarkets have a carrier bag recycling point - check at your local store. At these recycling points you should be able to recycle the following:
- Carrier bags (except biodegradable or compostable bags)
- Bread bags
- Bubble wrap
- Breakfast cereal liners
- Shrink wrap and ring joiners
- Magazine and newspaper wrappers
- Frozen food bags
- Crisp packets
- Chocolate wrappers
Most supermarkets that do home deliveries will also take away your carrier bags.
What you can do to help
- Ask your local supermarket if they can recycle carrier bags
- Try squeezing and squashing your cans and bottles so you can fit more into your containers
- It might sound confusing, but please only use plastic bags for recycling textiles. This is because they are stored separately on the recycling lorry and sent to a textiles reprocessor, where it actually makes it easier if they are in bags.
Last updated: Mon 16 January, 2023 @ 17:32