Did you know you can recycle more soft plastic items than you probably realise? Here are 10 items that you CAN place in a supermarket’s REDcycle bin for recycling.
10 items you didn't know could go in a REDcycle bin
So you know that soft plastic packaging needs to be kept out of your kerbside recycling bin – great work! But did you know that you can actually recycle more soft plastics than just bags, cereal wrappers and frozen vegetable packaging in the REDcycle bins that you find at Coles, Woolworths and other participating outlets?
It’s important for everyone to divert as much waste as they can from landfill so here are 10 items that you might not have known can also be recycled through the REDcycle program and turned into different items from outdoor furniture, bollards and exercise equipment.
Just remember to ensure your soft plastics are free from food (aside from yoghurt pouches, but keep reading for more on that!) and DRY (wet items cause mould) before you put them in the bin. It’s also worth noting that bagging your soft plastics is OK.
1. Silver-lined chocolate, chip and snack wrappers
That’s right, while many people feel confident placing confectionary and biscuit wrappers in the REDCycle bins, it’s often the silver-lined items that has them stumped. The good news is that those chip packets and chocolate wrappers CAN go in with the rest of your soft plastics.
2. Snap lock and zip lock bags
Zip lock bags can be washed and reused, but once they’ve reached the end of their life, pop them in your soft plastics collection. This also means that other plastic packaging with snap lock tops are also fine to REDcycle.
3. Potting mix and compost bags
That’s right, those oversize bags that house potting mix and compost can be recycled. You’ll just need to ensure they are no bigger than an A3 sheet of paper, or roughly the size of a newspaper before you pop them in the bin. Fertiliser bags should be placed in your landfill bin though, as these may be contaminated with the chemicals they have been holding.
4. Produce stickers
Unless you are able to buy your fruit and vegetables direct from the source, you’re likely to come across plastic stickers on your produce. All you need to do to recycle them is stick them to a bigger piece of soft plastic before you pop it in a REDcycle bin.
5. Pet food bags
Worried about sending all those plastic pet food bags and wet food pouches to landfill? Don’t be! The pouches will need a quick rinse and, if you have a larger dog, the dog food bag will need to be cut down into pieces (A3 is the recommended size).
6. Squeeze pouches with lids on!
Your yoghurt and baby food pouches are another scrunch-able plastic that can be REDcycled. All you need to do is get as much of the contents out as possible and screw the lid back on so it doesn’t contaminate other items.
7. Ice cream wrappers
In the hotter summer months try to avoid throwing too many ice cream wrappers in the bin if you can. You may need to give them a quick rinse if they have sticky residue first though! If you consume a lot of individually portioned ice-creams or icy poles at home, perhaps it’s time to consider buying a tub to portion out or making your own.
8. Bubble wrap
If you aren’t able to pass your bubble wrap on to someone who might use it (it’s often in demand on Buy Nothing groups) then the good news is that it can be placed in a REDcycle bin. Just remember if you have large pieces to cut it down into smaller ones (about A3 size) first.
9. Mailing satchels
We won’t judge you for your online shopping habit if you remember to recycle what you can – and that includes the post bag that your new things came in. That’s right, plastic and bubble-wrap style mail delivery bags can be included in your REDcycling. Mixed material ones (ie paper on the outside and bubble wrap inside) need to go in the landfill bin at the end of their life (we like to reuse them first!). Compostable packaging also needs to be kept out of the REDcycle bins please.
10. Cellophane from flowers
While many florist have changed to using paper to wrap their flowers, there will still probably be times that cellophane is unavoidable. The good news is it’s OK to include in your REDcycle collection.
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