August 29th, 2018

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 are now accepting Other Flexible Plastic Packaging (separately from soft plastics recycling) 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 recycling:

1. What is ‘Other Flexible Plastic Packaging’?

This program covers a LOT of bag and package types. The basics accepted types are:

  • Stand up and zipper lock pouches
  • Crinkly wrappers and bags, including chip bags, bar and candy wrappers
  • Flexible packaging with plastic seal
  • Woven net and plastic bags
  • Non food protective packaging

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

2. What is NOT accepted in this program?

  • NO soft, stretchy plastic bags such as bread bags and shopping bags. These go in the Soft Plastics bin.
  • NO Plastic squeeze tubes
  • NO Plastic-lined paper (or paper-lined plastic!)
  • NO biodegradable or oxo plastics
  • NO PVC or vinyl
  • NO 6-pack rings
  • NO Plastic strapping or squishy foam

3. Why so picky about what’s accepted?

To help develop future recycling processes, 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?

Other Flexible Plastic Packaging material that is collected is moved up the pollution prevention hierarchy, to be produced into engineered fuel – a replacement for coal in industrial settings.

5. What is ‘Engineered Fuel’?

Engineered fuel is an energy product engineered to exact specifications be a direct replacement for traditional non-renewable resources. It can decrease the need for fossil fuels such as coal. But plastic is made from oil, so greenhouse gasses are still emitted when the fuel is combusted.

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. If you like, you can print off a PDF for handy reference on recycling day.Flexible-Packaging-Take-Back-List

Stand up and zipper lock pouches

  • Bags for Sugars, oatmeals, grated cheese, coffee and pouches with a zipper lock
  • Deli meat and cheese bags
  • Baby food pouches (leave the cap on)
  • soap refill pouches (leave the cap on)
  • Plastic pet food bags

Crinkly wrappers and bags

  • Crinkly bags
  • Candy bags
  • Chocolate and candy or energy bar wrappers
  • Dried food and pasta bags
  • Wet wipe bags (including with hard plastic dispenser)
  • Cookie bags
  • Cellophane
  • Foil gift wrap (the plastic kind, not metallic ink on paper)
  • Cheese slice bags (please wash them off!)

Flexible packaging with plastic seal

  • Vacuum seal packaging (please clean out any meat packaging)
  • flexible packaging with plastic seal (Fresh pasta)
  • Flexible lid with rigid base packages (bologna and some deli meats)
  • Woven and net plastic bags (plastic weave, not burlap)

Non food protective packaging

  • Plastic shipping envelopes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Plastic air packets (e-commerce)
  • Plastic bags with non 2-3-4 resin code
  • Shrink wraps on meats (wash them off please!)

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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