Which plastic bags can be recycled?

In Victoria (and maybe other States?) Coles and Woolies have bins to collect bags for recycling. A company uses the bags to make footpath walkway flooring to use at beaches, parks, etc. It would be nice if more people took the trouble to collect them and drop them off. I don’t know if the heavier bags used by department stores etc. can be recycled this way- does anyone know?

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Hi @raybeebemcm, the heavier bags you’re referring to are probably the ‘LDPE’ type of plastic. You can read more about different types of bags and which shopping bags are best for the environment thanks to @UtaMihm’s article.

You’ll need to check with your council about whether you can recycle these in the kerbside bin, but many say ‘no bags’ even if they accept this type of plastic. The program you’ve mentioned is called REDcycle, and they’ll collect soft plastic for recycling like boutique bags. Hope this helps!



This is called Greenwashing. It means making something that is not sustainable look like it is sustainable.

Coles and Woolworths are simply concerned that you may not buy as much if you do not bring enough bags and they did not offer plastic bags.

There is no need for the use of single use plastic bags at all. I have not used them for over 25 years :slight_smile:



Please note that if you are in Gippsland there are no REDCycle collection points. It’s a common misconception that there is. Here is an article that outlines the current situation

Well i didnt know this… but i am always trying to recycle them… maybe post this on F.B. and more people will know about it …

Take your plastic bags and large department shop paper carriers, which cannot be recycled to Op Shops. They are grateful for them and this recycles the bag, hopefully more than just once.

Coles and Woolworth’s offer you to purchase bags at least they do in Canberra. I have a cupboard full of them.

Booroondara Council and I think Monash Council in Victoria have authorised people to include the supermarket plastic bags in the weekly recycle bin.

I would be very interested to find out how they process these, @christine.witton.

Coles states the bags recycler is Replas in their website, perhaps this is who the Councils may be using.

"Recycling for Customers

The REDcycle Program is a supermarket-based recycling program that invites consumers to gather together all their empty bread, cereal and frozen food bags, plastic and reusable shopping bags and other flexible plastic packaging and take them to their nearest Coles drop off point. The collected soft plastic material is delivered to our manufacturing partner Replas to be turned into outdoor furniture for Aussie primary schools and pre-schools. In 2016, our customers returned more than 299 tonnes of plastic to our stores to be recycled. "

Replas home page is found here:

and a sample of their products here:

natural Thought - you will need to go on to their websites where they have information.

Our Council , Hobson’s Bay City Council in Victoria supplies bags which go in the recycle bin . You can put supermarket bags , bread bags , bubble wrap etc in this bag , tie it off and put it in with other recyclables . Very forward thinking by the council I think .