How to recycle plastic packaging

While living without plastic is the ultimate planet-strong goal, there are ways to reduce your environmental impact even if you can't break up with plastic packaging just yet.

Depending on where you live, you might have access to plastic recycling programs. Check out our list below, or add your own knowledge in the comments below.


Keep your empty bread bags, biscuit packets, frozen food bags,
rice and pasta bags, confectionery packets, plastic shopping bags and old reusable bags out of landfill by bringing them in to selected Coles and Woolworths supermarkets instead.

Drop them into your nearest REDcycle collection bin and your empty packaging will be recycled into useful new products such as sturdy outdoor furniture and signage.

Find a collection point here.


Almost all curbside recycling programs do not accept plastic bags (check with your local waste authority) – so plastic bags should be dropped off at grocery stores with plastic bag recycling programs (Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Target etc.). If you put plastic bags in your curbside recycling bin, they often clog machines at recycling facilities and thus actually hinder the recycling process.

Even at the grocery store, you may only recycle clean and dry plastic bags and films, including the following:

plastic carryout bags

newspaper bags

dry cleaning bags

bread & produce bags

zip lock bags (remove hard components)

plastic cereal box liners

case wrap/shipping packaging (diapers, snacks, water bottles, paper towels)

Find a location near you


Canada does an awesome job with plastic recycling, and there are collection points across the nation where you can deposit your soft plastics.

Canada uses some of the same systems as the US, so if you don't have a community program happening, check out retail drop-off points for plastics here.


Plastic films and carrier bags: Although these are not usually collected as part of your recycling service, they can be recycled in the carrier bag collection points at the larger stores of most major retailers including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, The Co-op and Waitrose.







Help the 1 Million Women community by adding any info for your country or region in the comments below!

READ THIS NEXT: There's 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our waterways

Banner image: Shutterctock

1Million Women is more than our name, it's our goal! We're building a movement of strong, inspirational women acting on climate change by leading low-carbon lives. To make sure that our message has an impact, we need more women adding their voice. We need to be louder. Joining us online means your voice and actions can be counted. We need you.

Steph Newman Former Social Media Assistant Suggest an article Send us an email

Recent Blog Articles