Any plastic you can scrunch in your hand is a soft plastic. All soft plastics must go in your red bin.

Common soft plastic items include:

  • plastic shopping bags
  • bread, pasta and rice bags
  • frozen food bags
  • courier bags
  • bubble wrap and plastic furniture wrapping 
  • plastic wrappers for confectionery, muesli bars and biscuits
  • biscuit trays 
  • cereal liners. 

These are just some of the examples of soft plastics. If you're unsure, you can search for specific items on our Wheelie Bins app. Remember, if it can be easily scrunched in your hand it's a soft plastic. 

Why can't you put soft plastic in the yellow bin?

Soft plastic packaging is not collected in the yellow bin as the processing equipment is only designed to handle clean, hard plastics. Soft material often gets caught in the sorting machine causing breakdowns. It also contaminates the other accepted items, which makes it difficult to sell them in the recyclable markets both locally and internationally.

What about the soft plastic recycling scheme?

The Soft Plastic Recycling programme is no longer operating in the South Island. For more details, please visit the Soft Plastic Recycling website(external link).
(external link)

All soft plastics must go in your rubbish bin.