Soft plastics and plastic bags

Soft plastics and plastic bags
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Soft plastics are a type of plastic which are flexible and can be easily scrunched up in a ball. Soft plastics are a type of plastic which are flexible and can be easily scrunched up in a ball.  
Soft plastics and plastic bags


What are soft plastics?

Soft plastics are a type of plastic which are flexible and can be easily scrunched up in a ball. They are used to make many everyday items, such as plastic bags, cling wrap, pasta and chip packets. Some other common soft plastics include:  
  • Bread bags 
  • Zip lock bags 
  • Frozen fruit and vegetable bags 
  • Chocolate and lolly wrappers 
  • Biscuit packets  
  • Bin liners 
  • Cereal bags 
  • Produce bags 
  • Bubble wrap 
  • Ice block wrappers 
  • Mail satchels
These types of plastics cannot be put in your yellow kerbside bin. 

What bin do soft plastics go in? 

All soft plastics and plastic bags belong in the red bin. Despite our best intentions, we all get plastic recycling wrong sometimes. But if enough of the wrong plastic is found in the yellow bin, the whole lot can end up in landfill.
We don't accept soft plastics for recycling through any of our services or events.  Unfortunately, due to processing issues, you cannot drop off soft plastics at major supermarkets through REDCycle. 

How can I tell if an item is made of soft plastic? 

Soft plastics are usually wrappers and packaging such as bread bags, pasta packets and chip packets. 
You can usually tell if an item is made by soft plastic by using the scrunch test. If you can easily scrunch it into a ball, it’s probably a soft plastic and needs to go in the red bin. 

Why are they a problem?

When plastic bags and other soft plastics are found in the recycling bin they can cause major problems. Plastic bags can become tangled in sorting machinery, which can cause breakdowns and even fires. They mean other materials cannot be recycled. For these reasons, if too many plastics are put in the yellow bin, the whole lot can go to landfill. 

Helpful tips 

  • Don’t put your recycling in plastic bags that then go in the yellow lid bin. Instead, use a container and drop your recycling loosely into the yellow lid bin.
  • To help the environment further, you can say no to plastic bags altogether. Did you know lightweight plastic bags are banned in NSW? Use a box or reusable bag to hold your groceries instead.
  • Try to reuse soft plastics before putting them in the red lid bin. Give ziplock sandwich bags a quick rinse and re-use them again for snacks. Larger bread bags can be reused as liners for small rubbish bins, such as your bathroom bin.
  • Avoid buying products packaged in plastic wrapping. Shop at local markets or choose packaging that can be recycled easily.
The City of Canterbury Bankstown acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, water and skies of Canterbury-Bankstown, the Darug (Darag, Dharug, Daruk, Dharuk) People. We recognise and respect Darug cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge the First Peoples’ continuing importance to our CBCity community.