Recycling plastic bags and wrappers

Plastic bags and wrappers are known as “plastic films”, “flexible plastics” or "soft plastics".

You can already recycle some of these at collection points in many larger supermarkets. They accept carrier bags and the wrappers from kitchen and toilet rolls which may be labelled as PE (polyethylene).

Some supermarkets have now started to collect a wider range of films made from PP (polypropylene). You can usually recycle a wide range of packaging at these collection points, including:

  • baby food pouches
  • biscuit and sweet wrappers
  • bread bags
  • carrier bags
  • cheese wrappers
  • crisp packets
  • fruit and vegetable wrappers
  • pet food pouches
  • salad bags
  • toilet roll and kitchen paper wrappers
  • wrappers for cereal, pasta, rice, and pulses, etc

Compostable or (bio)degradable wrapper, bags or films CANNOT be recycled at these collection points. 

You normally just need to make sure they’re as clean as you can- shake out crumbs and eat that last crisp! Check their websites below to see the exact details for each scheme.

Co-op recycling scheme. stores from the national Co-op chain, including the following stores. (Not Scotmid stores.)

  • Bridge Road, Colinton, Edinburgh, EH13 0LF
  • 1 Bughtlin Market, East Craigs, Edinburgh, EH12 8XP
  • 5 Earl Grey Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9BN
  • 8 McDonald Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4LU
  • 8a Milton Road West, Edinburgh, EH15 1LF
  • 49 South Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9NZ
  • 1 Carter Mews, Edinburgh EH17 8GS
  • 26-28 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2JR.

Marks and Spencer recycling scheme. currently Princes Street and Gyle but rolling out to other stores during 2022.

Morrisons recycling scheme. Zero Waste Stores at Ferry Road, Gyle, Granton, Hunters Tryst and Moredun. You can still recycle PE only (e.g. carrier bags, kitchen and toilet roll wrappers) at other stores.

Sainsburys recycling scheme.  All full size supermarkets (Sainsburys branded stores, but not usually Sainsburys Local)

Tesco recycling scheme. All full size supermarkets (Tesco Extra and Tesco branded stores, but not usually Tesco Express)

Waitrose recycling scheme. Comely Bank and Morningside

Other stores are running pilot schemes in parts of the UK, so hopefully those will be rolled out nationwide soon.