Brown bin

Compostable and biodegradable packaging

More companies now produce biodegradable food packaging, but it's not obvious how to recycle these items.

  • Biodegradable materials can be made from plastic treated to make it biodegradable.
  • Compostable materials are always made from plant-derived materials. Compostable materials (sandwich packaging, coffee cups etc) may be certified as compostable, and might carry a logo (e.g. the “seedling” logo).

What to do with this type of packaging


  • put compostable and biodegradable packaging in your grey bin.

Don't put them in your

  • blue bin
  • food waste caddy
  • brown bin.

If you do, they will be removed at the processing plant and sent for Energy from Waste. They cannot be recycled with other plastic packaging.

Compostable packaging could technically be treated as garden waste. But because it looks the same as plastic packaging, it will be removed as contamination. It's then sent to the Energy from Waste facility at Millerhill, where grey bin waste is processed.

If compostable materials are labelled as suitable for home composting, you could add them to your garden compost.

More details on compostable packaging

Visit where your recycling goes which explains what happens to material you separate for recycling.

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