Person handing over a plastic carrier bag of shopping

What to do with plastic carrier bags?

06 Apr 21 2 minute read

We can all make positive choices to help the environment in the way that we shop. Everyone who cuts back on the number of carrier bags they use contributes to saving resources and reducing waste.

Plastic bags are recyclable and are increasingly being recycled, but the majority still end up in landfill where they may take hundreds of years to break down.

Household recycling collection

Some councils are beginning to collect carrier bags as part of household recycling schemes, but this is not wide-spread at the moment, so check with your local council first.

 not currently recycled

Other recycling collections

Many larger supermarkets accept your carrier bags as well as other plastic films - look for the message ‘recycle with carrier bags at larger stores – not at kerbside’ on the label. Collection points for used carrier bags are normally found near the main entrance.

Recycling facilities exist

What can you do?

  1. Look for strong, durable reusable bags that will last - even better if it’s made from recycled materials!

  2. Keep a small foldaway bag with you for those unexpected or impulse purchases.

  3. If you shop online and receive a supermarket delivery, choose the ‘no bags’ option.

Recycling is constantly evolving and changing so check back for updates or try our recycling locator to find out what you can recycle at home and where you can recycle or pass on unwanted items in your local area.