September 27th, 2023

Keeping Other Flexible Plastic Packaging Out of Landfill in BC – 
5 Things You Need to Know

Sustainable recycling flexible plastic packaging


London Drugs stores in BC accept Flexible Plastic Packaging as part of RecycleBC’s new take back program. More and more packaging of this type is in our shopping cart and cupboards. Now you can keep it out of landfills.
Here’s what you need to know when you drop by your local BC London Drugs store with your Flexible Plastic Packaging recycling:

1. What is ‘Flexible Plastic Packaging’?
This program covers a LOT of bag and package types. The basic accepted types are:

  • Plastic Bags
  • Outer Bags and Overwrap
  • Crinkly Wrappers and Bags
  • Zipper-Lock and Stand-Up Pouches
  • Flexible Packaging with Plastic Seal
  • Woven Plastic Bags
  • Protective and Squishy Cushion Packaging
  • Empty Bags / Remove Non-Plastic Items

Recycle BC accepted plastics

See a more complete list below or go to RecycleBC for more info.

2. What is NOT accepted in this program?

  • NO Plastic-lined paper (or paper-lined plastic!)
  • NO biodegradable or oxo plastics
  • NO PVC or vinyl
  • NO 6-pack rings
  • NO Plastic strapping

3. Why so picky about what’s accepted?
To ensure efficient recycling, it really helps to have as pure a stream as possible of the right materials. Non-accepted items can make it difficult to identify recyclable plastics and may even clog up machinery.

4. What happens to the material collected?
The Recycle BC plastics end market is now making a recycled plastic pellet from the Other Flexible Plastic Packaging collected. This is a step up the Pollution Prevention Hierarchy above engineered fuel. This pellet is a commodity made of a combination of higher and lower quality plastics that turn it into a usable feedstock for new product manufacturing.

So gather up those Other Flexible Plastics and bring them down to your Local BC London Drugs store. It’s one more step we can take to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill.

The Great Other Flexible Plastic Packaging Take-Back List (BC Only)
Here’s a more detailed list of Other Flexible Plastic Examples.

  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Plastic bags for bread, produce, dry cleaning, newspapers/flyers
  • Bags for water softener, salt, garden products, etc.
  • Plastic overwrap on diapers, paper towel, feminine hygiene products, flats of canned beverages
  • Plastic overwrap on mattresses and electronics
  • Plastic food storage, sandwich, freezer, and vacuum seal bags
  • Plastic shrink wrap
  • Flexible plastic gift bags and boxes
  • Transparent single-use recycling bags
  • Reusable plastic curbside recycling bags (e.g., yellow bags for Paper)
  • Reusable plastic-only carry-out bags (provided with purchase or purchased)
  • Plastic drop sheet or covering
  • Squishy cushion packaging (polyethylene foam)
  • Plastic bubble wrap
  • Zipper lock pouches for frozen foods (e.g., berries, vegetables, prawns)
  • Zipper lock and tear-open pouches for cannabis product
  • Stand-up pouches for dried fruit and nuts, quinoa, grated cheese, etc.
  • Potato chip bags
  • Crinkly plastic bags for candy, cereal
  • Plastic wrappers for candy, cheese slices, granola bars, etc.
  • Crinkly plastic packaging for dry pasta, pre-packaged deli meats, etc.
  • Flexible plastic packaging with plastic seal (e.g., deli and cheese packaging)
  • Plastic net bags for fruit, onions, avocados, etc.
  • Woven plastic bags for rice
  • Non-food protective packaging (e.g., all-plastic shipping envelopes, air packets, etc.

18 thoughts on “Keeping Other Flexible Plastic Packaging Out of Landfill in BC – 
5 Things You Need to Know

  1. Anne Lamont Key says:

    Great program – thank you! In sorting my plastics, I wondered about cereal bags (that are inside the boxes of commercial cereal). Are they included in your program? Also, the plastic wrap that is on the outside of some pop like San Pellegrino – is it soft plastic or for your program?

    1. Lorne Craig says:

      Hi, thanks for recycling so diligently! The cereal bags (inside the box) are usually made of multiple plastic types laminated together. So please put them with the 'Other Flexible Plastics'. Wrap for pop cans, water bottles, toilet tissue etc, is usually the stretchy type of plastic that belongs in the 'Soft Plastics' stream. So keep on separatin'!

  2. Charles Bosgra says:

    That's great if you have a London Drugs store. We haven't but no doubt would love to have one here in lovely Creston, BC.

    1. Lorne Craig says:

      Dang. Wish we could help with that… maybe one day! But thanks for recycling as best you can!

  3. Denise says:

    Hurrah! Good job for taking the lead, allowing folks to recycle things we can't in our blue boxes. I love how London Drugs sets such a proactive example in giving back to the community at large. Wonderful!

    1. Lorne Craig says:

      Thanks so much! It couldn't happen without people who are willing to go the extra mile to deal with their waste responsibly, so thank YOU. Sustainability is a work in progress, always.

  4. Shayna Waterman says:

    Hi there, in sorting my soft plastics I wasn’t sure whether these items are accepted by LD. Can you tell me whether you accept the plastic that is sealed to the tops of yoghurt and humus containers, cereal bags and cracker sleeves (I saw this mentioned in a comment above but not whether you accept them or not), flexible packaging over frozen pizza, clear plastic packaging from clothing, wrappers from blocks of cheese, and plastic kitty litter bags with the 7 symbol. Also do you need the different plastics sorted into groups or can it all go into the bin in the store together? Thanks so much

    1. Lorne Craig says:

      Hi – thanks for asking… here's what we have heard from RecyclingBC:
      Plastic seals for yogurt, hummmus, peanut butter etc – YES, just rinse them, please
      Cereal bags, cracker sleeves, pizza packaging plastic, YES, again, rinsed
      Clear plastic packaging from clothing… If it's stiff or crinkly… YES with the Other Flexible Packaging. if it is stretchy (can you push your finger through it?) then no, it goes in soft plastics with shopping bags.
      Wrappers from cheese, YES – PLEASE rinse these!
      And #7 kitty litter bags, YES. Devoid of litter if you please…
      No need to sort in groups, just keep them clean and bring them in!

      1. Shayna Waterman says:

        Awesome thank you! I would imagine the plastic around thinks like cucumbers would be soft plastics and would go with shopping bags as well? The clear plastic packaging from clothing is stiff and has the symbol 4 on it so would imagine that’s still ok to bring in.

        1. Lorne Craig says:

          Sounds correct. Thanks for recycling it right!

          1. Shayna Waterman says:

            Thanks for responding so quickly. I noticed our depot doesn’t take plastic blister packs from things like gum, vitamins, and packaged toothbrushes. Is this something I can bring to LD or is it considered garbage? Thanks again!

          2. Lorne Craig says:

            Many little blister packs are actually usually made from PET plastic, which is very recyclable (same stuff as water bottles) HOWEVER, the small size pieces (2" or less) can just 'fall through the cracks' in the multi material recycling facility, so it is often best to just put those in that trash. (sad face emoji)

  5. CJ says:

    The cling wrap would go in the same bin as "Vacuum seal packaging"? Thanks!

    1. Lorne Craig says:

      Yes, I believe clean cling wrap can go in 'other flexible' as well.

  6. Diane Pleasance says:

    Thank you so much for being progressive with assisting shoppers to keep plastics et al out of landfills. I only recently realized you have a recycle bin instore for Brita filters, as up til now I have been printing off weighbills from Brita website to mail them postage free back to Brita. Thank you for that as well.

    1. Lorne Craig says:

      You are so welcome – thanks for supporting our efforts with your participation! Yes BRITA filters can be dropped off at your local London Drugs. We also take back Soda Stream cartridges.

  7. Jan H. says:

    Does LD take white styrofoam that comes in the packaging of some IKEA furniture?

    1. Lorne Craig says:

      YES, London Drugs takes back styrofoam. If the pieces are really large you may have to break them or cut them up into smaller chunks. (Oh, the horrible squeaking…) We also take back take-out food containers and meat trays IF they are washed.

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