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

Please Note: We Can't Recycle the Following:

  • compostable bags - even if these bags also say recyclable! 
  • yoghurt pots and other rigid plastics
  • heavy foiled bags
  • bags, wrap or film which is contaminated with food and liquid or cannot be easily cleaned out
  • cellophane
  • face masks,disposable gloves or RAT test packaging 

Get a Soft Plastics Recycling poster for your workplace

We can recycle non foil biscuit bags and empty ice packs

Biscuit bags and chip packets look silver but this is painted on, not foil backed, so these can be recycled. Ice packs must be empty  ( ice packs full of water/ice are NOT acceptable) . Please check with your food box service provider as they may provide a return service for your ice packs so they are reused. This is much the best option.

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  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!

Get a Soft Plastics Recycling poster for your school

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, vegetable gardens and parking bumpers here in New Zealand.

And we’re supplying  SaveBOARD in Hamilton with soft plastic materials to manufacture sustainable building materials including insulation board. 

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.

We are looking at the potential for new collections points and logistics solutions around the country. For every new collection area we need to put in place a collection service from stores, baling of the plastic and transport to the end processor and its important that we minimize the environmental footprint of this service by utilising existing transport where possible.

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

We currently accept:

  • Bread, pasta & rice bags
  • Bubble wrap and large sheets of plastic cut into pieces the size of an A3 sheet of paper first
  • Cereal box liners
  • Chocolate & muesli bar wrappers and biscuit packets (wrapper only)
  • Cling film which is clean - and please make sure it is LDPE (resin 4)
  • Coffee & Tea bags (light foil lining)
  • Confectionery wrap; chip packets with light foil
  • Courier packs
  • Dairy wrappers
  • Dry dog food bags
  • Fresh produce bags and netting citrus bags
  • Frozen food bags (frozen vegetable, fries, burgers, nuggets, poultry etc.) 
  • Garden potting mix bags
  • Ice pack bags – (empty and dry)
  • Newspaper wrap
  • Plastic packaging around toilet paper, kitchen towels, nappies and sanitary products
  • Polyethylene bags / Polypropylene reusable bags

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. You can check out which brands are helping fund this recycling service on our funded by page.

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 well as foiled coffee pouches– 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 may 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.

We do not accept

  • compostable bags
  • bags which are contaminated with food or liquid
  • pvc plastic wrap
  • biscuit or meat trays
  • cellophane