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30 Soft Plastics You Can Recycle At Co-Op

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

A large number of soft plastics can't currently be recycled in your kerbside recycling, but the Co-Op is now accepting a lot of these in their stores around the UK! Check out the full list below:

Soft plastics recycling is easy. Just follow these three steps:

  • Clean it – First, rinse your packaging out.

  • Scrunch it – Now, scrunch it up tight - if it pings back, it’s a useful indicator it's soft plastic.

  • Co-op it - Pop it into our soft plastics recycling unit – look out for the blue bin at your local Co-op. You can check here if your local store has a recycling point.

They accept:

  • All Co-op brand food packaging. However, it's important to note that there may be limitations when it comes to recycling third-party packaging.

  • Thin plastic lids of all types

  • Kitchen towel, toilet roll, nappy bag, cotton wool wrappers

  • Pouches – microwave rice, pre-cooked mussels, pet food, ready meals etc

  • Fruit & veg nets, bags and wrappers

  • Plastic sauce sachets

  • Ordinary carrier bags

  • Bread bags

  • Crisps, nuts, snacks bags

  • Cereal and porridge bags

  • Dried goods bags – dried fruit, pasta, rice, sugar, pulses, etc

  • Frozen foods and ice cubes bags

  • Chocolate and sweets bags and wrappers

  • Biscuit wrappers

  • Cling film

  • Pizza wrapping film

  • Croissant wrappers

  • Pancake wrappers

  • Naan bread wrappers

  • Pitta bread wrappers

  • Garlic bread wrappers

  • Fresh pasta wrappers

  • Cheese, pastry, cakes, Yorkshire puddings wrappers

  • Wrappers from baby wipes, etc

  • Meat, poultry and joints wrappers

  • Tea and teabags, ground coffee, etc wrappers

  • Pies, pastries, sausage rolls wrappers

  • Household textiles, scourers, rubber gloves, etc wrappers

  • Gift wrap, greetings cards, etc wrappers

  • Flower wrappers

  • Petfood wrappers

Please note, Co-Op will accept soft plastics from any retailer or brand, however, they cannot guarantee that third-party packaging will be recycled.

They don't currently accept:

  • Compostable carrier bags

  • Compostable and biodegradable bags & wrappers

  • Plastic bottles

  • Plastic trays

This is a great step forward to helping with plastic pollution and hopefully lots more recycling points will be made accessible in the near future. If you're looking for new ways to reduce how much plastic your household uses, check out my post '12 Best Plastic-Free Products for a Sustainable Lifestyle.

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1 Comment

Congratulations, kudos & thanks to the Co-op for facilitating the recycling of soft plastics and to Eco-sal for publicising and promoting this venture.

So many manufacturers, local councils & stores continue to deny that these 'low value' items can be recycled, and instruct consumers to bin them, or suggest that they have no other option.

Despite initiatives to reduce the use of plastics and their entry into the waste stream, our consumption of them continues to grow annually.

Thank you for helping us to help ourselves.

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