Removal of recycling bags for kerbside collections

South Gloucestershire Council would like to stop providing white and green bags for recycling and ask residents to use green boxes for all their recycling materials.

No changes are proposed to how materials need to be separated and presented for collection, i.e. plastics and cans mixed together and all other items grouped separately in the boxes.



Why we would like to make this change:

We have noticed some issues with the recycling bags:

  • Bags deteriorating or blowing away mean they normally need to be replaced and only have a 12-18 month lifespan.
  • From an environmental perspective, the bags are out of line with the need to reduce the use of plastics. The bags are manufactured overseas and transported via container ship. They are made from non-recyclable plastic and deteriorate over a period of 12-18 months, releasing multiple fragments of plastic into the environment.
  • Residents have told us there is confusion over how to sort recycling for collection. Removing the use of bags would simplify our messages so that residents are confident in using the service. This would enable crews to empty containers as efficiently as possible and reduce contamination.
  • We can save around £100,000 a year by not using recycling bags



How can we make sure this change doesn’t cause a problem for anyone?

At this stage the following actions have been identified which could potentially mitigate any negative effects:

  • If they wish, residents may continue to use their existing recycling bags until they need replacing, at which point they will need to switch to using boxes.
  • Promotion of use of boxes including how to stack, store and use them.
  • Creating simpler, more accessible information about the collection service.
  • Wider publicity of the assisted collection service, including publicity at disabled and older people’s forums.

Additionally, an Initial Equality Impact Assessment (EqIAA) has been completed and will be updated to take account of equality issues emerging as a result of this consultation.



How to find out more and have your say:

We would like to hear your views on whether we should replace recycling bags with boxes, and if we did how it might affect you.

The consultation is open to the public between 2 November and 25 January 2019, and a decision will be made by March 2019. To take part:

  • Read the consultation document to find out why we are proposing these changes and how we would manage them
  • Read the Initial Equalities Impact Assessment
  • Complete the online survey
  • Pick up a paper copy of the survey from libraries or One Stop Shops, or download and print one, then post it to us at the below address - no stamp needed
  • Write to: South Gloucestershire Council, Corporate Research & Consultation Team, Council offices, Badminton Road, Yate, BRISTOL, BS37 5AF. If you would like to avoid paying for postage please visit a library or One Stop Shop and hand in your completed survey or ask for a Freepost envelope
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 01454 868154



  • Opened
    2 Nov 2018 at 07:00
  • Closes
    25 Jan 2019 at 23:59
  • Response to be published



Consultation Topic
Geographical area
Marking a consultation as relevant to a particular audience indicates that it may be of special relevance to people within that group. It doesn't, however, mean that other groups wont find the consultation of interest - we welcome responses from everybody.
For example, education issues may be of particular interest to Parents & Guardians, and so will be shown to people searching the system for parenting issues, but the views of others (eg: Business, Faith Groups) are also relevant.
Target Audience Older people, People with disabilities
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