Recycling Plastic Wrapping

At this time of year, when many people are receiving deliveries of their online purchases, I thought it would be useful to circulate a reminder that the plastic wrapping from the parcel (and the inner wrapping for clothing items) can very often be recycled at larger supermarkets.

Look out for a logo on the plastic wrapping of a number 4 inside a triangle with LDPE below. This is low density polyethylene plastic which can be recycled (minus any paper address labels) at Tesco or Morrisons in Minehead, in their plastic carrier bag recycling containers.

The following plastic items can also be recycled in these containers:

bread bags
toilet roll and kitchen towel bags
many frozen food bags (check for logo)
bags for fruit and vegetables
wrapping for potted herbs
shrink wrap and plastic ring links from sets of bottles or cans
dry cleaning and new clothes bags
newspaper and magazine wrapping

The general rule is: if the wrapping stretches it can be recycled. Hence, salad bags and crisp packets have to go to landfill as they are made of multi-layered plastic to remain airtight. There is an organisation – terracycle.com – which collects and recycles these and other multi-material items like Pringles tubes and toothpaste tubes which normally have to go to landfill but, sadly, the nearest site is many miles from sleepy Somerset!

Bubble wrap can also be recycled with used carrier bags but it is often bulky. I prefer to give it to local charity shops where it is very welcome and can be reused to help these good causes.

Happy recycling!

Mike O’Keefe