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Bank holiday bin collections

All bin collections following a bank holiday will take place 1 day late from 27 May to 1 June. See our Bank holiday bin collection page for further details.

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Recycling plastic bags and film

Waste Analysis conducted in Exeter has identified high levels of plastic film in our black bins that could have been recycled instead.

Putting this quality plastic film in the green bin will help the environment and will also save us money that can then be used to support local services.

Don’t forget that you can recycle good quality plastic bags and wrap in your green bin in Exeter. We can then turn this plastic into sacks for use in our litter bins. See what else you can recycle from home.

Here are a few easy tests you can do to check what you should do with your plastic bags and film.

  • Is it silver inside? If yes, take it to your supermarket plastics collection point.
  • Does it spring open again after you scrunch it in your hand? If yes, take it to your supermarket plastics collection point.
  • Does it stay folded when you ball it up? If yes, put it in your green bin (unless it’s clingfilm, which we can’t take).
  • Does it stretch a little when you pull it? If yes, put it in your green bin (unless it’s clingfilm or compostable).
  • Does it say ‘compostable’ on it? If yes, put it in your black bin or home composter.


What can I do with my plastic bags and film?

Put these in your green bin (if they meet the conditions outlined above):

  • bread bags
  • bags-for-life (or swap them at your supermarket)
  • thick toilet roll wrap
  • thick kitchen roll wrap
  • multipack can wrap
  • multipack bottle wrap
  • frozen goods bags
  • fruit bags
  • freezer bags
  • sandwich bags
  • bubble wrap
  • bulk pasta/rice packets (polythene type)
  • cereal liners (these are the only crinkly bags that we can take)
  • any other polythene bags or film

Take these to your supermarket (or put them in your black bin if you can’t):

  • salad bags
  • crinkly bread bags
  • crinkly fresh goods bags and wrap (croissants, etc.)
  • pet food pouches
  • crisp packets
  • crinkly or silvery sweet/chocolate packets
  • shiny pasta packets
  • shiny rice packets
  • clingfilm (check with supermarket first)
  • ready meal film lids
  • any other crinkly bags, packets or film
  • Any other silvery bags, packets or film

Put these in your black bin or home composter:

  • compostable or biodegradable bags or film


If you have a food waste collection, you can also use any plastic bags to line your grey/silver kitchen caddy. There is no need to buy special bags, because the food waste plant will remove any bags before processing the food – even compostable bags, since these do not break down with the food.


For a full list of recyclable waste, see our A to Z of recycling.


If you’re in doubt, contact the Council’s recycling expert Denis the Dustcart on Facebook or contact us online.

When this content has been updated

Last updated 16 October 2023