How to recycle films & wrappings

Around 14% of Local Authorities accept bread bags, outer soft wrappings and carrier bags for recycling in the kerbside recycling bin.   Please check if your Local Authority is one of them by checking their website or looking on the Recycle Now locator.

Many UK supermarkets including RECOUP members,  Asda, Co-op, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose, collect film and soft wrappings with the carrier bag collection points through the front of store collections.

See below for a list of plastic packaging that is recyclable. As a general rule, if you can stretch the film then it can be recycled. Please make sure items are clean and free of food. 

  • All plastic bags, except biodegradable or compostable bags
  • Bread bags
  • Breakfast cereal liners
  • Shrink wrap & ring joiners from multipacks of water, cans etc
  • Frozen food bags, e.g. bags for frozen vegetables, chips, etc
  • Dry cleaning bags/bags covering new clothing
  • Magazine and newspaper wrappers
  • Bags for loose fruit and vegetables
  • Bubble wrap
  • Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) - resin ID code 4 


  • Compostable and biodegradable bags are not designed to be recycled and if they enter the recycling system can potentially cause quality issues in the recycled material. Find out why. 
  • Bakery wrapping (from around fresh baked product, the one with small holes in) cannot be recycled. 

Many supermarkets also allow you to hand your unwanted bags back to the driver for recycling if you receive online shopping deliveries.


Sainsbury’s superstores now take ALL flexible packaging such as crisp packets, biscuit wrappers and salad bags in front of store collections

Co-op stores now collect soft plastics like crisp packets and bread bags. for recycling. It doesn’t matter where you bought them. Pop your soft plastics into the recycling units and they will do the rest.

Tesco customers can bring all types of soft plastics to collection points. This includes everything from crisp and salad packets to microwavable pouches, bread wrappers and shrink wraps - no matter where it was purchased. 

Terracycle run schemes for difficult to recycle items. Here are some examples:
Crisp Packet
Pringles® Can Recycling Programme
Pet Food Recycling Programme
Personal Care and Beauty Recycling - Items other than bottles