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Bulk Bag Recycling UK 2024 – Where To Recycle Your Empty Bulk Bags

Bulk bag recycling UK

Last updated on January 19th, 2024

Got some empty bulk bags but not sure how to go about recycling them? You’re not alone. There’s not a lot of clear information out there so I’ve done the research.

What Can I Do with Empty Bulk Bags in the UK?

The three most common choices when trying to figure out what to do with your empty bulk bags in the UK are:

  1. Recycle in a local recycling centre – Take a look at Recycle Now
  2. Arrange for a recycling company to collect them – Take a look at Liverpool Bulk Bags
  3. Get creative and repurpose the bag – Take a look at How to Reuse Bulk Bags

We’re all getting into a groove now when it comes to reusing and recycling plastic bags. But what about those large builder’s bulk bags? Bulk bag recycling in the UK seems to be a problem that lots of us are coming up against. I hadn’t even thought about it until the problem quite literally landed on our doorstep.

I say our, but it was actually a neighbour who decided that she needed to get some work done on her driveway. Along came a big truck and dropped two bulk bags on her drive. A great service, I’m sure you’ll agree. But when she asked the driver what to do with the bags once they were empty, thinking they might want them back, he just advised her to ‘chuck them in the bin’. 

Are Bulk Bags Returnable?

Some companies will arrange to collect their bulk bags after you have finished with them. This is not the case with all companies, so if you are in a position to do so, you or your builders should check with the company you’re ordering materials from to see if their bulk bags are returnable. 

However, I know you may be sitting looking at your bulk bags, not sure where exactly they came from and where they should go.  

If you just have one or two bags this might not work, but if you’re working on a big job then maybe Liverpool Bulk Bags could be a good option. They offer a used bulk bag collection and recycling service.

Can you Recycle Bulk Bags in the UK?

A full bulk bag. What to do with Empty bulk bags

But chucking things in the bin isn’t my or my neighbour’s style. So I went online, typed bulk bag recycling UK into Google and expected the internet to tell us what to do. I simply wanted to know if bulk bags can be recycled. It wasn’t so easy.

There are plenty of places online telling you what they’re made of. Bulk bags are typically made from woven polypropylene with some kind of UV protection. Which, after a little research, means they are similar to most other recyclable plastic bags but a lot sturdier. If technical science is your thing, take a look at this post about what a bulk bag is made of.

Bulk Bag Recycling Company in the UK

Liverpool Bulk Bags

I did find a company called Liverpool Bulk Bags, they offer their services nationwide and will come to collect your new or used bulk bags. You can request a quote, but guess it depends on how many bulk bags you want to get rid of and where in the country you live, as to whether it will be the best option for you.

Can you Recycle Bulk Bags at Home?

No, you can’t recycle bulk bags at home. Nor can you recycle them with your standard bags because the chemical makeup isn’t the same. But fear not, if the bulk bag recycling company I mentioned above doesn’t work for you, there’s still hope.

Can you Bring your Empty Bulk Bags to your Local Recycling Centre?

Sign for recycling centre - Empty bulk bags

Although you can’t simply take them to a bag recycling point at your local supermarket, you might be able to get them recycled at your local tip or as we call it now household recycling centre.

I say might because I was able to. However, I’ve since spoken to someone in a different part of the country who said their local recycling centre told her to put them in the general waste section.

I recommend that you call your local centre before making the trip to check if they can recycle them, as it seems some centres can do more than others. You can visit the Recycle Now website, enter your postcode and they’ll give you the contact details.  

So yes, I guess you can bring your empty builders bags to your local recycling centre but whether or not they can be recycled or not is still the question.

Ideas on How to Upcycle Your Empty Bulk Bags

If your local centre doesn’t offer a recycling option you might want to look into some ways that you could reuse or upcycle your builders’ bulk bags to save them from getting thrown away. Here’s a link to a website that has some good ideas about what you can do with your unwanted bags. Such as using them as compost bags and using them for weed suppression.

Bulk Bag Recycling UK is Possible in Some Areas, So Please Try to Do It.

It is possible to recycle them and hopefully, you won’t have to travel far to do your bit to limit the amount of plastic going to landfill. And it really is important that we each do our bit. Statista.com reports that an estimated 4.9 million metric tons of plastics are placed on the market each year, of which three-quarters become waste.

If that sounds crazy, remember that’s happening every year. Pretty frightening stuff! But good job for searching for a solution to your bulk bag recycling UK needs. The more plastic we can keep out of landfill and out of our oceans the better for us, that planet and the animals. 

I know it’s not a clear answer, but I sincerely hope I’ve helped you find a way to recycle your empty bulk bags. Or upcycle them.

For more tips on sustainable living, check out my posts on sustainable living, remember. It all helps.

Meet the Author

Author Bio - Sinead OCarroll - The Wondering Wandering Vegan

Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living. 

With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.

Follow me on Instagram to see all the delicious vegan food I find, the vegan and cruelty-free products I use and what I get up to as a travelling vegan.

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