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 biodegradable 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 - available at over 2,200 Co-op stores across the country. This doesn't include Scotmid stores.

Marks and Spencer recycling scheme - Rolled out in-store Plastic Takeback Scheme to all M&S owned stores. Customers can easily return plastic packaging from any product by placing it into our clearly marked plastic collection units at their nearest store.

Morrisons recycling scheme - The plastic bag container at the front of store now accepts crisp packets and other types of plastic wrapper

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.