It's time to talk about soft plastic

It’s not hard to figure out that soft plastics are, well, the softer form of plastic. But what is hard to figure out is what exactly this includes. And why it even matters? You might already know that soft plastics can be recycled. And we’ve all faced the dilemma of not knowing if something is recyclable. So let’s break down soft plastics now. 

Hard, soft - what's the big deal?

Hard plastics are rigid or moulded (think blueberry punnets or liquid detergent bottles). When you’re done with them you can throw them in your yellow recycling bin, and they’ll be given a new life.

Soft plastics can be easily scrunched up, but you can’t put them in the yellow bin, because materials recycling facilities can’t process them. They can get tangled and cause significant damage to the machinery – the biggest problem for most councils in Australia (Recycling Near You, 2020). So, a lot of soft plastics end up in landfill, rivers and oceans.

14m tonne problem 

Research estimates that there is currently more than 14m tonnes of plastic in our oceans with another 8.5m tonnes added each year (The Guardian, 2020). Many of the wonderful sea creatures that inhabit our oceans are injured or killed by the growing levels of plastic. It has affected around 267 species of marine life so far, including 86% of all turtle species.

By recycling plastics the right way, we can help better protect our oceans and marine life. And it all comes down to knowing how to tell the differentiating between soft and hard plastic, and how and where to recycle them. 

snorkeler swiming into plastic

How do I identify soft plastic?

If you can’t tell it’s plastic, do the scrunch test. If you can get it in a ball shape then it’s a soft plastic. For example:

  • Bags: plastic bags, bread bags, rice and pasta bags, frozen food bags, old reusable ‘green bags’, fresh produce bags, netted produce bags, dry pet food bags, confectionery bags and snaplock bags.
  • Other: bubble wrap, plastic Australia post satchels, clear plastic wine bladders, silver-lined chip and cracker packets, ice-cream wrappers, plastic sachets, squeeze pouches with lid (e.g. baby food) and newspaper and magazine wrapping. 

But there’s a full list over at to check out.

plastic bag filled with apples, oranges and bananas
Recycling soft plastics can be simple. Just get scrunching, collecting and drop them off to start reducing landfill.

Great!  So where can I recycle them? 

Lots of Coles and Woolies have a REDcycle drop-off at the front of the store. Do a search to find your nearest drop-off

The nearest REDcycle drop-off bin to LIV Indigo is:

Coles Rhodes, Rhodes S/C, 1 Rider Blvd, Rhodes NSW 2138

You may also like

Life at LIV is greener with double glazed windows

Read more

Key workers and why they deserve more

Read more

Time to bust the rental bond myths

Read more

An Appealing New Option for Australian Renters

Read more

6 Fun Things To Do This Weekend Without Leaving Your Apartment

Read more

Apartment Living for Families – How to Get It Right

Read more

5 Things to Avoid When Renting an Apartment

Read more
pug puppy lying on a colourful rug

How to Secure a Modern Pet-Friendly Rental

Read more

What Your Living Space Says About Your Personality

Read more
Are Australians better off not buying a home

Are Australians Better Off Not Buying a Home?

Read more

How Rental Stability Can Transform Our Sense of Community old

Read more

The Way We Think About Property is Changing Around the Globe

Read more