Soft plastic recycling in Gloucester

Where to drop in Gloucester: Michalie Fry places her soft plastics in the bin at the Tucker Patch. Photo: Supplied
Where to drop in Gloucester: Michalie Fry places her soft plastics in the bin at the Tucker Patch. Photo: Supplied

Recycling can be confusing.

Different councils recycle different products depending on what facilities they have, and not all products that appear to be recyclable, can be recycled.

Earlier this year, a Waste as a Resource workshop was held in Gloucester to explain to residents how and what can be recycled, including everything from food scraps to what can go in the yellow bins, and soft plastics isn’t on the list.

When it comes to soft plastic recycling, it can be even more confusing.

What is soft plastic? 

The simple answer is plastic that you can crush in your hand.

Some of the most common items recycled are:

  • bread bags
  • biscuit package wrappers
  • paper goods packaging
  • pasta and rice bags
  • frozen food and veggie bags
  • confectionery bags
  • plastic bags
  • old green bags
  • cereal box liners

REDcycle is a company that collects these products, manages its own transportation, sorting and distribution to its partner company, Replas, which manufactures products made from the materials collected.

Click here for a full list of what can and cannot be recycled. 

Until recently, there weren’t any collection bins between here and Newcastle, however, recently Coles in Wingham, Old Bar and Forster have been added to the list.

When it comes to where to drop off your soft plastics in Gloucester, the message has been confusing.

Gloucester Woolworths has a plastics recycling bin which, according to a Woolworth’s spokesperson, can only recycle “used plastic supermarket shopping bags, product bags and bubble wrap.”

“Our recycling service provider is contracted to collect and recycle these used shopping bags and clean, clear plastic film (Low Density Polyethylene Film) from our stores,” the spokesperson said.

The clear plastic film is mainly the in-store packaging, like clear soft plastic and shrink wrap.

You can, however, drop your soft plastics at the Tucker Patch, 62 Cemetery Road, on Fridays from 10am until 1pm.

MidCoast Council has provided the site with a bin with a REDcycle label for people to drop off any acceptable soft plastic items.

Once the bin is full, the Tucker Patch volunteers transport the items to a REDcycle drop off.

A spokesperson for Woolworths as indicated that the store is looking into expand is REDcycle collection points to include regional sites, like Gloucester, but there has been no update at the time of print.

Woolworths’ recycling material is collected by Visy, processed and exported for reprocessing into other products.