FAQs

Recycle plastic bags, find out about plastic wrap recycling, how to recycle grocery bags and how to recycle bubble wrap

Please Note: We Can't Recycle the Following:

  • compostable bags - these are bags made from material that can be composted
  • cling film
  • heavy foiled bags
  • bags contaminated with food and liquid or cannot be easily cleaned out

For example, dog biscuit bags that are actually backed with foil.  Biscuit bags look silver but this is painted on, not foil backed, so these can be recycled.

Note for Schools & Tertiary Education

We know a lot of schools and tertiary education centres would like to be part of the Soft Plastics programme. We are working hard to expand the programme nationally and so we are focused at the moment on our partnerships with supermarkets and retailers.   You can get involved by recommending to your students that they drop off their soft plastic bags and packaging at their local store. It's also fun to play our Waste Game - check it out!

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve partnered with Future Post (www.futurepost.co.nz) to supply them with soft plastic materials which are blended with other plastics to manufacture plastic fence posts here in New Zealand.

And in the Lower North Island we’re supplying a small Levin company Second Life Plastics with soft plastic materials which 2LP is using to manufacture products such as ducting - see www.2lp.co.nz.

Packaging returned for recycling via our drop off bins should be ‘empty, clean and dry’.  If you want to recycle bags and wrapping from foods give the bag a quick rinse, then turn it inside out to air dry overnight before popping it in with other collected plastic packaging.

The collection service is available in the Auckland,Bay of Plenty, Northland, Waikato and Wellington regions.  We are taking a phased approach to expansion to continually monitor the volumes we collect.
We are looking at the potential for new collections points around the country, as we continue to manage the amount of soft plastics we collect with the available processing capacity. One of the deciding factors for which location is next will be determined by which regions are buying the fence posts to help create a local circular economy.
At present there are no processors in South Island,however we are looking at how we might trial a collection service there.  

With our new processing partners we are taking a look at what items they can take as this is continually evolving.

We currently accept:

  • Polyethylene bags
  • Bread, pasta & rice bags
  • Fresh produce bags and netting citrus bags
  • Frozen food bags (frozen vegetable, fries, burgers, nuggets, poultry etc.) 
  • Dairy wrappers
  • Plastic packaging around toilet paper, kitchen towels, nappies and sanitary products
  • Courier packs
  • Newspaper wrap
  • Chocolate & muesli bar wrappers and biscuit packets (wrapper only)
  • Confectionery wrap; chip packets with light foil
  • Cereal box liners
  • Bubble wrap and large sheets of plastic that furniture comes wrapped in (cut into pieces the size of an A3 sheet of paper first)
  • Ice pack bags – (empty and dry)

You can find your nearest participating supermarket or store by using the Store Locator on our website.

Absolutely. We accept all forms of soft plastic packaging from all brands. We encourage you to bring back the packaging from those brands that are helping fund this programme and to encourage other brands to participate to make sure this recycling service is successful. 

Yes, the thin foil-like plastic sleeves and packets that some biscuits, chocolate bars, crackers and chips come in are fine to be recycled – as a rule of thumb we accept plastic that scrunches up and doesn’t bounce back. 

NO, we can’t accept degradable, compostable, or bio degradable bags. Bags that are labelled degradable or compostable have been specifically manufactured to break down in the general waste stream. We can’t use them for recycling because they start to degrade before they are processed.

No, when it comes to biscuit packaging, it’s only the soft plastic wrapper that we can accept for recycling. The tray that the biscuits sit in is classified as rigid. Please check with your local council to see whether your trays can be recycled with the rest of your rigid (hard plastics) in your council’s kerbside collection or needs to be put in your rubbish bin. 

Small paper labels can be left on. They don’t need to be cut off. If the label/paper covers the majority of the item, then it should be left out.

Soft plastic refers to grocery bags, bread bags, bubble wrap, plastic wrappers of products such as biscuits, chips, anything you buy that has a soft plastic sheath.

Soft plastic CAN be recycled.  Clean and gather your bags and wrappers and take them to your nearest participating store.

Currently we can’t recycle:

  • cling film
  • compostable bags
  • bags which are contaminated with food


Play The Waste Game

Have fun testing your knowledge about how to recycle!  Putting litter in it's right place! Check out our Waste Game on our Facebook page to test your recycling knowledge. 

The Waste Test