If plastic bags are placed in kerbside recycling bins, they can damage machines inside sorting facilities and even cause some machines to break down, which could prevent other materials from being recycled.
For waste being processed in an ARRT facility, it can be very difficult to recover valuable resources from waste that has been wrapped in more than one layer of plastic bags. By keeping as few layers as possible between the bin liner and the waste you put in it, you can make the contents more accessible for separation and resource recovery. This keeps more waste out of landfill and more valuable materials in active use, which in turn eases demand for raw materials. Contact your Council to find out whether your waste is being processed in an ARRT facility or sent to landfill.
Will SUEZ accept my plastic bags?
We can only recycle hard or rigid plastics, such as bottles and containers. Plastic bags are not accepted for recycling at our Waste & Recycling Centres and should never be placed in kerbside recycling or garden organics bins.
Plastic bags placed in recycling bins can become tangled in sorting machinery, potentially causing breakdowns, or even fires, and hindering the recycling process for other materials. Plastic bags placed in garden organics bins contaminate this waste stream and any compost produced from it.
Please visit our locations page to find a public drop-off facility near you or check your local council.
What else can I do with my plastic bags?
Many supermarkets have special plastic bag recycling bins near the customer entry. Plastic bags placed in these bins can be recycled because they don't need to be sorted and separated from other types of recycling.
Plastic bags placed in these recycling bins must be clean. Be careful to check which bags are accepted as some bins accept only the light LDPE grocery shopping bags, while others may also accept heavier plastics.
If you cannot find a supermarket that will accept your plastic bags for recycling, your household garbage bin is the next best place to dispose of them.
To reduce the number of plastic bags you use, you can consider the following:
- If you're only buying a couple of items, consider carrying them in your hands instead, and refuse the offer of a plastic bag.
- When shopping, take alternatives to plastic bags with you, such as calico bags, baskets or boxes. Keep a folded up reusable bag in your handbag or keep several in the car.
- Many people have two separate garbage bins – one for “wet” garbage, with a plastic bag liner, and another for “dry” garbage, which doesn’t need a liner. This can be a great way to cut down on the number of plastic bags or bin liners you use.