Soft plastic recycling

Cleanaway provides businesses with a one-stop solution for the collection, disposal, and recycling of soft plastic waste. By recycling, we save precious natural resources from being used in the manufacture of new plastics. Producing new plastic uses up to three times more energy, oil and water compared to recycled plastics.

How can you tell soft plastic from rigid?

Plastics are broadly divided into two categories – rigid and soft. Cleanaway collects most rigid plastics for recycling through our commingled recycling service. This includes common items such as bottles, milk and food containers.


Soft or flexible plastics are any plastics that can be scrunched into a ball or broken by hand, and includes business packaging waste such as shrink wrap, bubble wrap or large plastic bags. These plastics do not belong in your general waste bin, and should be separated at the source for recycling.


Cleanaway can identify all your plastic waste types and recommend a resource recovery solution tailor-made for your business, including a detailed waste stream assessment, customised bins, and flexible collection services.


Download our plastics recycling fact sheet to learn more about the various types of plastic and how we recycle them.

Pallet wrap and plastic packaging recycling

Cleanaway’s soft plastic recycling services collect pallet wrap, shrink film and other plastic packaging in a customised bin to be sent to our specialist facilities for processing into new products.


Plastic waste collected by Cleanaway is sorted, baled and sent to recycling plants for washing and shredding. The shredded plastics are then sorted using a floatation process.


Once sorted, the waste is turned into pellets and powder. These are sent to manufacturers to be moulded and cast into new plastic products and packaging. The recycled plastic may be turned into new containers, wheelie bins, guideposts and even irrigation pipes.

Types of recyclable plastic packaging waste

Cleanaway recycles most common types of soft plastic packaging including:

  • LDPE (low-density polyethylene)
    LDPE is a very versatile plastic. In packaging, it is used primarily as a wrap such as pallet wrap, shrink wrap and stretch wrap. Used industrial plastic wraps are used as a raw material in various industries, including but not limited to construction and food packaging.

  • EPS and polystyrene
    Cleanaway collects polystyrene and EPS (expanded polystyrene) packing materials in special skip bins to prevent damage while in transit. These materials are also known as packing foam or foam peanuts. Polystyrene packaging disposal technology now lets us recycle and turn them into new products. They are turned into feedstock for synthetic timber, stationery and other items. Here’s an example of how Cleanaway can help you divert your polystyrene packaging waste from the landfill:

Get in touch today to learn more about our soft plastic packaging disposal, collection and recycling solutions.