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How to Recycle LDPE 4 - Squeezable Bottles, Dry Cleaning Film, Shopping Bags

How to Recycle LDPE 4 - Squeezable Bottles, Dry Cleaning Film, Shopping Bags

There are two main categories of LDPE 4 plastic

The first is film or lightweight plastics like dry cleaning bags, bread bags, shopping bags and the plastic encasing paper towels and toilet paper. The second is squeezable bottles – used for honey, sauce etc along with caps and closures.  

Both types of LDPE 4 plastics are recyclable, but only the hard plastics like the squeezable bottles can in your council recycle bin. The film or lightweight plastics aren’t always accepted by council curbside recycling because the material gets caught in sorting machines. Some councils (and it is increasing) do accept lightweight plastics in curbside recycle bins, but you can also drop them off at your local supermarket soft plastic recycle bin where it is picked up by REdCycle. Please make sure they are empty and clean. 

Check to see if your council accepts all LDPE 4 plastics in the recycle bin or where your closest drop off point is.

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Science Notes
LDPE 4 plastic stands for Low Density Polyethylene plastic. Characteristically, it has a low softening and melt point which makes it good for heat sealing products, is compatible with most foods, has a reasonable moisture barrier, is soft and clear and stretches well – which is good for cling wrap. 

‘Hard’ LDPE 4 plastic products are micro wave proof, non-leaching and impact resistant. They will also go in your dishwasher and are food and beverage ‘safe’.  Don’t use soft LDPE 4 plastic products like cling wraps or other soft plastics in microwave as they may melt into your food or leach chemicals.

LDPE can be recycled into can liners, compost bins, floor tiles, furniture, trash cans, outdoor lumber, landscape ‘timber’ and shipping envelopes.

Related Tip
Avoid shopping bags and dry cleaning bags if you can.  There are so many alternatives to plastic bags - many that fold up into tiny squares which you can leave in your handbag.

Leave a few re-use shopping bags (including freezer bags for cold/hot food) in the boot of your car or simply grab a bag and put it in your pocket when you are going to the supermarket.