Soft Plastics

Soft plastics, the kind that can be scrunched into a ball, are among the biggest problems in the kerbside recycling system. In fact 8 out of 10 councils consider them the number one problem as they get caught in the recycling machinery.*

The good news is these plastics can be recycled at many supermarkets. The bad news, as revealed in research done for Recycling Week, is that only 22% of people know about the program!

This free program is made possible through RedCycle, which has worked with Coles and Woolworths/Safeway Supermarkets to set up collection bins in stores across most of metro-Australia. The cost of collecting and processing the material is covered by many of Australia’s best-known manufacturers (including the Planet Ark Endorsed Naturale Toilet Tissue.)

The plastic is made into furniture for schools and kindergartens among other things.

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What You Can Recycle

A good way to remember to recycle these plastics is to put them straight into your reusable shopping bag. You can recycle

  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Bread, rice, pasta, lolly and cereal bags
  • Biscuit packs (but not the trays)
  • Frozen food bags
  • Newspaper wrap
  • Bubble wrap
  • Dry cleaning bags
  • Fruit and veg bags and netting
  • Toilet paper and similar product packaging
  • Old green (and other re-usable) bags

*There are a handful of councils that can accept bags and soft plastic in the recycling: Lismore and Ballina in NSW; and, Cockburn, Vincent, Town of East Fremantle, Kwinana, and Melville in WA.

For more information about single-use plastics, click here.