‘Repeat the Cycle’ and recycle soft plastics in Ards and North Down

Wednesday 11th May 2022

Supermarkets now a collection point for “soft plastics” waste

A man puts soft plastic waste into a collection container at a supermarket

Ards and North Down Borough Council welcomes the news that major supermarkets now accept the return of soft plastics for recycling via collection points in local stores including Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Sainsburys and Co-op.  

This is a significant step in reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill, as these traditionally tricky to recycle plastics cannot currently be recycled via household blue bin collections.  

‘Soft plastics’ includes a wide range of plastic bags and packaging. Whether it is bread bags or frozen food bags, crisp packets or pet food pouches, loo roll wrap or chocolate wrappers – it is now possible to recycle all of these by returning the packaging to supermarkets. 

Repeat the Cycle is a major new awareness campaign from Recycle Now and Clear on Plastics, working alongside supermarkets, brands and local authorities across the UK. The campaign is fronted by JJ Chalmers (Scottish TV presenter, public speaker, and Invictus Games medallist) and aims to raise awareness that the public can now recycle plastic bags and wrapping in local supermarkets across the nation. 

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, said: 

 “Local councils, including Ards and North Down, do not have the necessary resources or facilities to recycle soft plastics – a high volume waste product that is expensive to store, process and transport.  

 Ards and North Down Borough Council has been part of a lobbying effort to encourage supermarket chains to provide and promote these drop off schemes, making use of supermarkets’ existing infrastructure and contracts to manage soft plastics waste.  

 We encourage residents across the Borough to use these schemes, gathering any household soft plastic waste for deposit at collection points when doing the household grocery shop.”  

Recycle Now, the national recycling campaign for England and Northern Ireland, has these top tips for recycling plastic bags and wrapping:  

  •  Check out the online Recycling Locator to find your nearest supermarket recycling point.   
  • Ensure bags and wrapping are food-free and as clean as possible – this will mean it is in the best possible condition for recycling.   
  • Keep your used, clean plastic bags and wrapping all together and take in bulk on your next supermarket trip. Whether it is stashed in a cupboard under the sink or bundled together in a  bag by your front door – find a storage system that works for you.   
  • Add a reminder on your shopping list to take it back with you to the shop.  
  •  To find out your nearest local supermarket collection point, check out the Recycling Locator on the Recycle Now website: Local recycling | Recycle Now

Photograph: Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, deposits soft plastics waste at Ballyholme Co-op in Bangor 

More about soft plastics

Soft plastics is a waste category that covers the following:  

  • Plastic carrier bags  
  • Bread bags         
  • Frozen food bags         
  • Delivery bags         
  • Cereal liners         
  • Toilet roll wrapping         
  • Multi-pack wrapping         
  • Salad, pasta, and rice bags         
  • Cheese, fish, and meat wrapping         
  • Crisps, sweet bags, biscuit, and chocolate wrapping       
  • Baby, pet food, detergent, and cleaning pouches         
  • Flexible plastic packaging lids  

 More information can be found on the Clear on Plastics website