Soft Plastic Packaging – Co-op Recycling

The Co-op has removed over 331 tonnes of plastic from their fresh fruit and vegetable packaging over the last two years. But they now need your help to do even more.

Right now, you can recycle your soft plastics at over 2,200 Co-op stores across the country – here’s a list of all the packaging they can accept.


  • Thin plastic lids of all types
  • Kitchen towel, toilet roll, nappy bag, cotton wool wrappers
  • Pouches – microwave rice, pre-cooked mussels, pet food, etc.
  • Fruit & veg nets, bags and wrappers
  • Plastic sauce sachets


  • Ordinary carrier bags
  • Bread bags
  • Crisps, nuts, snacks bags
  • Bags from:
    • Cereal and porridge
    • Dried goods – dried fruit, pasta, rice, sugar, pulses, etc
    • Frozen foods and ice cubes

Wrappers & Film

  • Chocolate and sweets bags and wrappers
  • Biscuit wrappers
  • Cling film
  • Pizza wrapping film
  • Bread product wrappers:
    • Croissants
    • Pancakes
    • Naan bread
    • Pitta bread
    • Garlic bread
    • Fresh pasta
  • Wrappers from:
    • Cheese, pastry, cakes, Yorkshire puddings
    • baby wipes, etc
    • Meat, poultry and joints
    • Tea and teabags, ground coffee, etc
    • Pies, pastries, sausage rolls,
    • Household textiles, scourers, rubber gloves, etc
    • Giftwrap, greetings cards, etc
  • Flower wrappers
  • Pet food wrappers

Here’s a shorter list of what they won’t accept…

  • Compostable carrier bags
  • Compostable and biodegradable bags & wrappers
  • Plastic bottles
  • Plastic trays

All Co-op own brand food packaging can be recycled. Limitations may apply to third party packaging.

While they will accept soft plastics from any retailer or brand, they cannot guarantee that such third party packaging will be recycled. Some of the more technical materials will have multiple layers, the composition of which they cannot be certain of, and these may end up being incinerated to produce energy. However, the majority of third party soft plastic will be made from materials which will go to be recycled within the scheme.

Please note that the labelling on packaging may not be up to date with the soft plastics recycling scheme. As such, not all soft plastics will currently be labelled as recyclable. The Co-op are working hard  to ensure that labelling is clear, and hope to bring an updated label soon.