Council launches soft plastic recycling points to Raise the Rate

Posted on: Friday 30 June 2023

New public recycling points for plastic bags and wrapping known as “stretchy plastic” are to be introduced by Torfaen Council’s waste and recycling team.

The first collection point has been opened at Civic Centre, in Pontypool, with plans to roll out more collection points in the near future.

Residents will be able to recycle soft plastics including bread bags, carrier bags, popped bubble wrap, six pack rings, and the outer packaging of drinks cans or cartons by putting items into a compacter and then popping the squashed material into a large blue recycling bin. Instructions and signage on site will guide residents.

The plastic will then be recycled by Blaenavon based Capital Valley Plastics, which turns the plastic into a membrane for the building trade. You can find out how by watching our video.

Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for the Environment, said: "A lot of people asked questions about stretchy plastic during our Raise the Rate consultation, so we have been working quickly to get a collection point up and running.

“Only plastic that stretches when pulled, can be reused by Capital Valley plastics, so we are unable to take items such as biscuit or crisp packets, salad bags or pet food pouches. It also really helps if the items are dry and clean of food residue.

“We know some supermarkets collect soft plastic, but we hope that having the Civic Centre as a drop off point will help some people recycle even more of their rubbish and avoid it going to landfill.

“We would like to encourage businesses to get in touch if they would like to become a stretchy plastic drop off point to help us raise the recycling rate in Torfaen.”

Roger Phillips from Capital Valley Plastics, said: “Together, if we all recycle a little bit more, and a little bit more often, we can all help raise the recycling rate in Torfaen.

“The stretchy plastic only travels to Blaenavon to be turned into sustainable building products such as damp proof membranes which locks in the carbon footprint of the product for as long as that building is standing.  By recycling the material in Torfaen it prevents the plastic from being incinerated or even worse ending up on the streets or in our oceans.

“Recycling is good for the environment, good for the taxpayer and is helping keep people employed in Torfaen.”

Introducing stretchy plastic collection points and increasing kerbside recycling are just two of the ways Torfaen Council is helping to raise the recycling rate. Find out more about our kerbside recycling service.

If you know of a business interested in becoming a stretchy plastic drop-off point, please contact the Waste Team on 01495 762200 or email

Find out more about stretchy plastic recycling.

Increasing recycling is a key part of the council’s Climate and Nature Emergency Action Plan and our County Plan.

Follow the Council on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #RaisetheRateTorfaen to find out about the changes we are making as a service to increasing recycling rates, and to learn about how you can recycle more at home.  

Last Modified: 30/06/2023 Back to top