Soft Plastic Recycling

Soft Plastic Recycling - 2022

People across the country have been visiting their local Co-op to recycle soft plastics like crisp packets and bread bags. It doesn’t matter where you bought them, just pop your soft plastics into our recycling units and we’ll do the rest. It means we can all do our bit for the environment.

Clean it. Scrunch it. Co-op it.

Soft plastics recycling is easy. Just follow these three steps:

  • Clean it – First, rinse your packaging out.
  • Scrunch it – Now, scrunch it up tight - if it pings back, it’s a useful indicator it's soft plastic.
  • Co-op it - Pop it into our soft plastics recycling unit – look out for the blue bin at your local Co-op.

What are soft plastics?

Soft plastics are lightweight plastics that often cannot be placed in recycling bins at home. Think plastic film lids on yoghurt pots, soft fruit punnets and ready meals, as well as plastic crisp packets, pasta bags and chocolate or biscuit wrappers. 25% of Co-op’s own-brand product packaging is soft plastic and can be recycled in store.

The other 75% includes items like plastic bottles, tubs, pots, trays and caps and are probably best recycled at home. If you’re not sure, a simple test is to scrunch it up and if it pings back, it’s a useful indicator it's soft plastic.

See what you can and can't recycle

Where can you recycle soft plastics?

Right now, you can recycle your soft plastics at over 2,200 Co-op stores across the country, most recently on the Isle of Man.

We are currently unable to put soft plastics blue bins in very small stores and currently have no recycling units on Scottish Islands but are working towards rolling this out to our stores there soon.

Find out if your local store recycles soft plastics

Supporting green issues

Jo Whitfield, Chief Executive, Co-op Food

"We're proud to have always led the way with green issues. Over the last two years we’ve removed 331 tonnes of plastic from our fresh fruit and veg lines. This year sees us manage the milestone of making all Co-op food packaging recyclable. We’re not stopping there - aiming to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions across everything we do by 2040."

Jo Whitfield, Chief Executive, Co-op Food