Bulka Bags

Bulka bags are large plastic bags or sacks used to carry bulk items such as seeds, flour, sugar, milk powders, fertiliser, sand, mulch and more. Australia has a national product stewardship scheme to recover and recycle bulka bags.

Bulka Bags includes:

Bulk Bags Plastic Sacks
Bulka Bags

How to recycle bulka bags

Australia has a national product stewardship scheme for the recycling of bulk bags and sacks used to carry at least 15 kilograms or litres of contents. The Australian Government Accredited Scheme, Big Bag Recovery, accepts bags that are made from woven polypropylene (wPP) and LDPE.

Bags from participating brands only are accepted - visit the website to see if your bags are supported under the scheme and consider switching to a participating brand if they are not.

Big Bag Recovery advises businesses to contact them directly for information about recycling drop-off points or collection services as it is important for them to ascertain if the bags are recyclable, what contents were inside the bag and the brand. Submit an enquiry via the website’s live chat or enquiry form.

Why should I recycle bulka bags?

Most bulka bags, also known as FIBC (Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container) or bulk bags, are made from polypropylene (PP), as well polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE), all derived from petroleum. Reusing or recycling bulka bags reduces the demand for plastic production and oil, a non-renewable resource. Other reasons to recycle bulka bags include a growing commitment to corporate environmental responsibility and rising landfill costs.

What happens to the bags when they're recycled?

Used bulka bags are collected, compressed and bailed for transport to a recycling facility. The bags are then cleaned of contaminants and processed into small chips. These chips are re-extruded into secondary plastic products such as new bulka bags, cables, brooms, bins or planter pots.

Big Bag Recovery is working with Circular Communities Australia to open Australia’s first purpose-built big bag recycling plant in Toowoomba, Queensland.  

Can bulka bags be reused?

Bulka bags are highly durable and can often be reused for some applications before they are recycled. However, reusing bulka bags can be dangerous so it is important to understand the hazards before reusing them.

Bags must be carefully inspected for visible damage, wear and contamination to ensure they are safe for reuse. Bags should not be reused if there is damage on the lift straps, outside contamination that cannot be removed by cleaning, dampness or growth of mould or mildew, embedded wood splinters or unreadable printing on the outside. Inappropriate reuse of bulka bags can lead to workplace accidents or spoilage of contents.

More Information

How to Reduce and Recycle Plastics at Work – use our free guide to keep plastics in use and out of landfill.