If you are on the reusable recycling bag trial: We will collect your recycling in the old red and purple plastic bags should you prefer to use them again at this time. Please continue to use the reusable bags if you would like to.

As part of the Council’s commitment to reduce single-use plastic, improve the quality of recycling and save money, we are trialling reusable bags for our red and purple recycling service.

This is a relatively small trial of approximately 2,000 households across Monmouthshire. Households that are involved in the trial will receive a letter with more information before 2nd November. New reusable bags and an information leaflet will be delivered the week of 4th November. Recycling collections for the trial will begin the week of 18th November.

During the trial we will assess how reusable bags compare to the current plastic bags for both residents and collection crews.

See a copy of the letter sent to residents on the trial

See the leaflet that will be delivered with the reusable bags

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the trial?

We are trialling the use of reusable red and purple recycling bags rather than the current single use plastic bags.

Why are you doing it?

Monmouthshire County Council has committed to becoming a plastic free county which involves reducing unnecessary single use plastics. Reusable recycling bags would reduce the amount of single use plastic bags we use.

In May 2019 Monmouthshire County Council declared a Climate Emergency, with unanimous support from Councillors. One of the agreed steps is to reduce our single use plastics and changing to reusable items will reduce our impact on the planet.

The recycling market prefers to receive the material loose so removing our plastic bags should reduce processing cost.

Reusable bags can be used over and over again so will cost less to supply than the single use plastic bags we currently use.

When does the trial start?

If you are involved in the trial you should receive a letter before 2nd November.

New reusable bags and an information leaflet will be delivered to the households on the trial the week of 4th November.

Recycling collections for the trial will begin the week of 18th November.

Where is the trial happening?

Initially the trial will be on specific collection rounds covering 2000 households across Monmouthshire. If the first stage is successful the trial will be extended to more households. The trial is across Monmouthshire so you may see households in your area not included in the trial still using the single-use plastic bags.

How will I know if I’m on the trial?

If you are on the trial you should receive a letter (through the post) before 2nd November. Followed by bags and a leaflet delivered the week of the 4th November.

I haven’t received a reusable bag?

I’ve had a letter but have not received any bags. The bags are being delivered the week of 4th November. Your bags should have been left near your door. If you have not received your bags by 11th November please contact us and we will deliver them to you.

Will my collection days change?

No you collection days will stay the same and collections are weekly. Please put your waste out before 7am the time that your waste will be collected can differ week to week.

How many bags will I get?

All households on the trial will be delivered one red and one purple bag. The bags have been designed to hold two plastic bags worth of recycling each, this means one bag of each colour will be enough for over 90% of our households.  We ask that all households try with one bag for the first few weeks. If you find you need more after this time please contact us and a recycling officer will help you.

What do I put in the bags?

The items that should go in the bag are the same as your old red and purple bags. Red bag – paper, cardboard and cartons. Purple bag – tins and cans, plastic bottles and plastic packaging. Please clean food residue from your recycling. The items must go into the reusable bag loose. Please do not put the old recycling bags inside your reusable bag.

What should I do with large amounts of cardboard?

Any cardboard should be flattened and put inside your red recycling bag. If you cannot fit the cardboard inside your bag you can place flattened cardboard up to 1m2 out for collection next to your recycling bag.

How do I use the bags?

Place your clean recycling inside the correct bag. Ensure you use the Velcro seal to close the bag, this means the recycling will stay dry and securely contained. The bags are weighted to avoid them being blown away. There is a box where you can write your house name or number to identify your bags. Put your waste out for collection before 7am on the morning of collection. Bring your bags back in from the kerbside after your collection.

What will happen if my recycling is contaminated?

If a recycling bag contains the wrong items it will be stickered to show what the wrong items are and it will be not emptied. Residents should remove the contamination and the recycling will be collected on your next collection. A recycling officer will be available if you need help with your recycling.

I will struggle to carry the bags, how can you help?

If you have difficulties carrying the bags, please contact us and our recycling officers will be able to help.

How will I know which bag is mine?

There is a box on the bags which we ask residents to put their house name/number on with permanent marker so they shouldn’t get mixed up.

Where should I keep my bag?

Please bring your bags back in from the kerbside after collection and store them on your property.

My bag has gone missing?

If you have lost your bag, please contact us for a replacement: email contact@monmouthshire.gov.uk, call 01633 644644 or visit your local Community Hub. We will deliver you a new bag as soon as possible.

What should I do with my old plastic recycling bags?

Please keep hold of your old red and purple bags for the time being as this is a trial. If you would prefer, you can return any unused bags to your local community hub.


We realise that a lot of households will produce extra recycling over the Christmas period.  Extra recycling can be placed out either within a cardboard box or a spare plastic box (if you have one) that the crews will empty and return. Brown cardboard boxes can be flattened and placed out next to your bags (Maximum size 1m2).

How do I report a missed collection?

Please only report waste not collected after 4pm on the day of collection. You can report a missed collection on the My Monmouthshire app or website, call 01633 644644 or visit your local Community Hub. If you register on the “My Monmouthshire” system you will receive updates on your report.