Welcome to the waste directory - plastic bags
What can be recycled?
Plastic bags can take hundreds of years to decompose; it is therefore important to make sure as few as possible find their way to a landfill site.
Alternatively, you can re-use plastic bags time and time again – 'Bags for Life' are great for this and most supermarkets offer them.
If your plastic bag is getting to the end of its life don't bin it – you can recycle them.
Many larger supermarkets now accept your carrier bags as well as other plastic films.
Although carrier bags today use 70% less plastic than they did 20 years ago, most are still made from polyethylene, a kind of plastic which is non-degradable. This kind of plastic takes a long time to break down, possibly up to hundreds of years.
What happens to this waste stream?
Plastic bags waste stream
Where do I put plastic bags?
- Plastic bags should be placed in the black-topped general waste bin.
Who empties the bin?
- Sacks are colour coded (black) and will generally be transported to a compounded area via a trolley.
- Sacks are placed into the appropriate Eurocart (usually located in a locked compound) or into a compactor.
What happens then?
- All of our general waste is sent for incineration and enegy recovery.
How green is this waste stream?
- Bins and carts are re-used.
What else can I do?
- We can all easily reduce the amount of carrier bags that are used by reusing them as many times as possible. If you are looking for suitable reusable bags, why not go for a small foldaway bag for those unexpected purchases? Try using a bag for another purpose such as replacing a small bin-liner; reuse is always better than recycling.
Peter Bodi, Supervisor Support Operations: x50223