Frequently asked questions

What plastics can go in the recycling bin?

All plastic packaging including soft plastics (that you can scrunch in your hand) and rigid (hard) plastics can go in your recycling bin provided it is Clean, Dry & Loose.  This includes all plastic films from your shopping, plastic bottles from milk, water and beverages; plastic tubs, containers and food trays; yogurt pots; soap, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles.  You can find a full list of items that can be put in your recycling bin in our A-Z Waste Management Guide or on Repak’s ‘What can I recycle?‘ page. Please place items in your recycling bin - clean, dry and loose.

What are soft plastics?

A soft plastic is any type of plastic that you can scrunch in your hand. Soft plastics are now accepted in the recycling bin due to advancements in technologies at recycling facilities in Ireland. There are a wide range of soft plastics including:  plastic wrap on products, plastic labels, plastic packaging pillows, bubble wrap, bread wrappers & pasta bags. You can find a full list of items that can be put in your recycling bin in our A-Z Waste Management Guide or on Repak’s ‘What can I recycle?‘ page. Please place items in your recycling bin - clean, dry and loose.

What are rigid plastics?

A rigid plastic is any type of plastic that does not lose its shape. Rigid plastics can go in your recycling bin.  There are a wide range of rigid plastics you can recycle, including: plastic bottles from milk, water and beverage bottles; plastic tubs, containers and food trays; yogurt pots; soap, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles. The colour of rigid plastics does not matter. You can find a full list of items that can be put in your recycling bin in our A-Z Waste Management Guide or on Repak’s ‘What can I recycle?‘ page. Please place items in your recycling bin - clean, dry and loose.

Why can we place soft plastics in the recycling bin now? What has changed?

Soft plastics can now be placed in your recycling bin as there have been advancements in packaging design, and investment in recycling technology, allowing segregation of different material types in recycling facilities in Ireland. All plastics can now be placed in the household recycling bin once they are clean, dry and loose.

Do I need to do anything differently when recycling plastic now?

You can continue to recycle your plastic items as before. The difference is you can now place your soft plastic packaging in the recycling bin. By doing this you are helping Ireland to achieve its increased packaging recycling targets set by the EU. Currently in Ireland we recycle 31% of all plastic packaging. By 2025 we will need to recycle 50% and by 2030 we will need to recycle 55%. Join us to help Ireland reach its plastic packaging recycling targets.  You can find a full list of items that can be put in your recycling bin in our A-Z Waste Management Guide or on Repak’s ‘What can I recycle?‘ page. Please place items in your recycling bin - clean, dry and loose.

What condition does plastic need to be in before I can place it in the recycling bin?

Plastic items placed in your recycling bin need to be clean, dry and loose. This means there should be no food or liquids left on/in your plastic items, and you should place all the items loosely in the bin and not in plastic bags or stuffed into other materials such as boxes.

How do I clean soft plastic?

There is no need to vigorously clean soft plastics. Once the plastic is free from food waste and is dry it can be placed in the recycling bin. Remember to place all items into the recycling bin clean, dry and loose.

Can I put bubble wrap in the recycling bin?

Yes, bubble wrap is a soft plastic and is now accepted in your recycling bin. You can find a full list of items that can be put in your recycling bin in our A-Z Waste Management Guide or on Repak’s ‘What can I recycle?‘ page. Please place items in your recycling bin - clean, dry and loose.

Can I put plastic carrier bags in the recycling bin?

Yes, plastic carrier bags are soft plastic and are now accepted in your recycling bin. You can find a full list of items that can be put in your recycling bin in our A-Z Waste Management Guide or on Repak’s ‘What can I recycle?’ page. Please place items in your recycling bin - clean, dry and loose. 

Can I put crisp packets in the recycling bin?

Yes, crisp packets are considered soft plastic and are now accepted in your recycling bin. You can find a full list of items that can be put in your recycling bin in our A-Z Waste Management Guide or on Repak’s ‘What can I recycle?‘ page. Please place items in your recycling bin - clean, dry and loose.

Can I put sweet wrappers in the recycling bin?

Yes, sweet wrappers are a soft plastic and are now accepted in your household recycling bin. You can find a full list of items that can be put in your recycling bin in our A-Z Waste Management Guide or on Repak’s ‘What can I recycle?‘ page. Please place items in your recycling bin - clean, dry and loose.

Can I put plastic wrappers in the recycling bin?

Yes, plastic product wrapping such as the film found on a packet of toilet roll / new mattress is now accepted in your recycling bin. You can find a full list of items that can be put in your recycling bin in our A-Z Waste Management Guide or on Repak’s ‘What can I recycle?‘ page. Please place items in your recycling bin - clean, dry and loose.

Where will the soft plastic go after it has been collected?

After collection, soft plastics are brought to material recovery facilities (MRFs) in Ireland to separate the plastics into different polymers. If the plastic types are recyclable they will be sent to specialised, polymer specific recycling facilities. If they are not currently recyclable they will be sent as a Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) to replace fossil fuels at Cement Kilns.

Do all bin companies and waste collectors accept soft plastic?

Yes, your chosen waste collector will be accepting soft plastics once they are placed in your recycling bin, clean and dry and loose.

The below listed items can be placed into the household recycling bin, provided items are Clean, Dry and Loose.

Soft plastic items CLEAN DRY AND LOOSE:

  • Bread wrappers
  • Fruit/veg and salad wraps and bags
  • Kitchen/ toilet roll outer wrap
  • Breakfast cereal bags
  • Plastic shopping/carrier bags
  • Dried fruit/seed and nut bags
  • Frozen food bags
  • Pasta/rice/noodle bags
  • Cheese packs outer wrap
  • Baked goods/Confectionary outer wrappers
  • Crisp/cracker wrappers
  • Bubble wrap
  • Electrical item/white goods/appliances bags/wrap
  • Mattress / pillow wrap
  • Wet wipes outer wrap
  • Detergent/dishwasher bags
  • Garden compost / bark bags

Rigid plastic items CLEAN, DRY AND LOOSE. Please continue to Recycle.

  • All pots, tubs and trays
  • Water/juice Bottles
  • Milk/cream Bottles
  • Sauce/dressing Bottles
  • Meat / veg / bread trays
  • Butter/margarine / ice-cream tubs
  • Yogurt pots
  • Salad/fruit bowls
  • Chocolate/biscuit trays
  • Bottle/jar lids
  • Take-away plastic containers
  • Shampoo / liquid soap and gel bottles
  • Make-up/toiletry tubs and mouth wash bottles
  • Detergent/household cleaning bottles
  • Plastic plant pots