plastic bags plastic bags plastic bags

We’re taking back bags for recycling!

You’ve been enjoying handing your bagfuls of bags back to our drivers through our carrier bag recycling scheme. Once returned, these bags have then gone on to be recycled in our closed-loop recycling process, which creates new carrier bags from old ones.

You can learn about it in the video .

You get a 10p Bag Recycle Bonus

We give you 10p for every Ocado bag that you hand in to be recycled. We’ll happily recycle non-Ocado bags, but we don’t give a bag bonus for these.

We’ll send you an email confirming your Bag Recycle Bonus after your bags have been counted and processed. This should be on the same day that your shopping is delivered.

You should know though that we don’t make any profit on our bag sales. The bulk of the funds from the charge goes into funding our Bag Recycle Bonus. The remainder is donated to good causes and charities across the UK.

plastic bags

Here’s what you need to do to recycle your bags once you’ve got them:

  1. Count the number of Ocado bags you have leftover.
  2. Hand a bagful of carrier bags back to your driver (max. 99 bags).
  3. Tell the driver how many Ocado bags you’re handing back.

Your bags will then be bought back based on that amount. We will recycle all carrier bags that you give to your driver, but you will only get a Bag Recycle Bonus on Ocado bags.

Carrier bags are currently the best way of keeping your groceries safe and avoiding waste. Thanks for doing your part to recycle them.

About our bags

All bags welcome

We accept bags from other supermarkets as well as our own, including the grey pouches some of your non–grocery items arrive in. We are currently exploring opportunities to increase our recycling rate further for film and thin plastics. Watch this space.

Bags are recycled every time you hand them to your driver

Currently 89% of our bags are handed back for recycling. We are constantly working towards improving this figure, so please return your carrier bags to your driver. You can give back up to 99 bags at any one time.

Handing back your bags benefits good causes

The bulk of the funds from the charge goes into funding our Bag Recycle Bonus. The remainder is donated to good causes and charities across the UK.

We recycle all our bags in the UK

Each bag returned to our sites is taken to Echo Packaging. They reduce all bags down to grey pellets which are processed into new bags, and given back to us to use for your next order. That’s the bag’s circle of life.

We don’t bleach the recycled materials

Bleaching requires large amounts of water to wash out bags before they’re reduced. We think that’s a waste, which is why our carrier bags are a lovely shade of grey. The ink used on each bag’s print is vegan and free of any animal derived products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bags create a hygienic barrier between all items, preventing damage and cross–contamination. If removed, we’d have to do what other retailers do and wrap items such as chicken and bleach in non–recyclable and single–use plastic.

Bags reduce lorries on the road (for every lorry shipment of bags, you’d need seven more for paper bags); damage and food waste. They’re easy to sort and pack into our totes and are more efficient for our drivers.

Zoom delivers in small batches in thermal delivery satchels – Ocado delivers a greater number of items, over a longer period of time. Zoom’s brown bags aren’t taken back like Ocado’s, as customers can reuse them at home.

Sadly not. Paper bag manufacturing generates three times more greenhouse gas emissions than current carrier bags. Compostable bags can only be broken down in specific facilities.

Any new process would have to account for us still accepting bags from other supermarkets. If we can’t do this, then more bags have to be sent to landfill. We’ll continue to assess alternatives for the most environmentally-friendly solution.

Tests show this would cause deliveries to take much longer, as drivers would have to carry individual items to your door, drop them off, and repeat. This would require 10% more vans on the roads to make up for the time lost.

Got more questions?