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Soft plastics recycling at Co-op stores

The Co-Op collects clean soft plastics for recycling. Clean It, Scrunch It, Co-op It.

Examples of what can be recycled by the Co-op 

Scrunch up your soft plastic item tightly - if it pings back, it's a soft plastic.  Soft plastics include: 

  • bread bags
  • any plastic bags which contain produce such as fresh vegetables, fresh fruit
  • ordinary carrier bags
  • wrappers around kitchen towel and toilet roll
  • bags that nappies come in
  • bags from cotton wool
  • cereal box liners
  • bags from frozen foods
  • bags from ice cubes
  • lids on yoghurt, cream, desserts
  • lids from packs of meat, ready meals
  • lidding film from cheese packs
  • wrapping around chicken
  • fruit and veg flow wrap (shrink wrap) 
  • chocolate wrappers
  • croissant, pancake, crumpet etc wrappers
  • biscuit wrappers
  • wrappers from cakes, Yorkshire puddings
  • flower wrappers
  • bags from dried fruit, sugar, pulses, rice and pasta
  • protective wrappers from gift wrap, the plastic bags that gift tags often are sold in
  • pastry packaging
  • bags from household textiles and similar - all-purpose cloths, dusters, dishcloths, rubber gloves, scourers
  • wrappers from pet food
  • wrappers from pies, pasties and sausage rolls (once rinsed to get the grease off) 
  • bagged sweets
  • pizza wrappers (once rinsed to get any food off) 
  • bags from porridge, muesli pouches 
  • packaging from baby wipes and similar 
  • crisp packets

All brands are accepted.  

Rinsing soft plastics

To rinse your soft plastics, put hot water in the kitchen sink and submerge your plastic packaging.  Then put aside to drip dry and wash your hands.  This is a more hygienic way of rinsing the packaging than under a running tap.  

How and where can I recycle the soft plastics? 

The Co-op has introduced collection points at 1,500 stores and is aiming to offer the service at another 800 stores before the end of 2021.  Check the Co-op website for details of your nearest participating store.  

  1. Put aside a used carrier bag for collecting all the soft plastics at home. 
  2. Whenever you have a soft plastics item, rinse it, scrunch it and pop it in the carrier bag.   
  3. Once the bag is full, take it with you when you next go to the Co-op store - the Soft Plastics Recycling Point is usually near the tills.

What happens to the soft plastics collected by the Co-op? 

The soft plastics stay in the UK to be reprocessed: they are transported to Jayplas and are recycled into valuable secondary plastic products such as bin liners, buckets and construction materials.  The soft plastics are not incinerated or sent overseas.   To find out more, read the Co-op's Press Release.