A women is standing facing a supermarket shelf

What to do with plastic film?

03 Apr 20 1 minute read

Bread bags, cereal bags and the wrapping on your loo rolls. There is hope for these often forgotten soft plastics and films hiding in your cupboards.

Household recycling collection

At the moment, soft plastic plastic films aren’t accepted in household recycling collections. But, before you relegate them to your general waste bin, scroll down to find out what types of plastic can be recycled elsewhere.

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Household waste recycling centre (HWRC)

Soft plastic and plastic films are not widely recycled at local recycling centres.

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Other recycling collections

The good news is that most soft plastics and films can be recycled in the soft plastic collection points at the larger stores of most major supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, The Co-op and Waitrose.

Currently recycled

What can be recycled?

Types of plastic film that can be recycled include

  • Plastic bags from bread, cereal and frozen food
  • Plastic pouches from microwave rice, baby food or pet food
  • Plastic wrappers from multipacks of cans and plastic bottles 
  • Plastic wrappers from toilet roll and kitchen roll
  • Plastic freezer bags and carrier bags
  • Plastic magazine (home delivery) and newspaper wrap
  • Crisp packets
  • Biscuit and sweet wrappers
  • Netting from fruit
  • Plastic film and cling film
Recycle with carrier bags

What can't be recycled?

Types of plastic film that can't be recycled in these collections include:

  • Plastic pots, tubs and trays
  • Plastic bottles
  • Hard plastic like those seen in kids' toys, or garden furniture 
  • Disposable straws, cups and cutlery 

What can you do?

  1. Make sure all soft plastic and film is clean and free of food residue.

  2. Tear off sticky labels where possible.

  3. As a general rule, if you can scrunch the plastic and it unscrunches then is can be recycled.

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.