How can I reuse or recycle film bread bags?

We’ve had an email from Sara:

Hi. I saw everyone’s great ideas about bread bags the other week but we don’t get sliced bread, we get baguettes and the stuff baked in the shop which come in film rather than plastic bread bags. Can that be recycled too?

Ooh, good question. I’m not 100% sure what type of plastic that is – I’ve sent emails to a couple of supermarkets to see if they know so can advise further. It’s maybe cellophane – and if it is, it’s biodegradable. Anyone know?

As for reuses though, it’s not as smooth and, for what of a better word, floppy as the LDPE/number 4 plastic used for pre-packed bread – but because of that, it would be better to use as a lightweight packaging material (it would scrunch, not crush flat). It’s not as pretty as the plastic wrap used on bouquets but there might be some overlap in the reuses.

Any other suggestions?

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4 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle film bread bags?”

  1. Lizzy says:

    If you were making a toy for a very young child and you wanted bits of it to have a scrunchy sound when squeezed – this might make a good filling when it’s scrunched up.

  2. louisa says:

    We’ve had a response from Tesco:

    I have checked with our recycling team and the answer is: Not at present unless it is compostable.

    WRAP are currently working a trail with local authorities and retailers on most suitable way to collect this material for recycling.

    My question back to them will be, of course, “well, is it compostable?” :)

  3. Martin says:

    I am in the packaging business. Bread bags of the type you describe are usually made of polypropylene, often punched with breathing holes so the bread does not get damp as it cools. You cannot compost it.

    • louisa says:

      That’s very interesting, Martin – thanks for letting us know.

      Polypropylene is usually labelled plastic number 5 and can be recycled in normal plastic recycling in some areas.

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