Imagine a "mix-masala" of 2 to 3 different plastics and other materials... That's what some Chips / Sweets Packets and Bags are made of.
What's wrong with that? Surely then they are recyclable, right?... Sadly, no. In recycling, materials are always placed/sorted together by their type, and therefore processed together. This means that each item that goes for recycling is usually made up of one type of material composition. This ensures that the item is recycled in such a way that another similar item can be produced from it.
So what are chip packets comprised of generally?
Most chips and confectionery packets are made from either PP (Polypropylene) and or LDPE (Low-Density Polypropylene) and an Aluminium laminate that is meshed together to create a gleaming metalised (or foily) plastic film. Though this composition can store food and prolong its freshness, it is does not do the same for our environment. So try to avoid adding them to your recyclable items bags.
"What do I do after emptying my chips and confectionery packets?"
Try starting a creative project using your confectionery and chips packets. For example, collect them, and reuse them to make some interesting items such as this colourful bag. Who says you can't look creatively flashy now and then;) See more creative ideas here.
Not into "fancy recycling fashion"? Alternatively, you can check out the EcoBrick Exchange. Use a plastic bottle to store all of your non-recyclable chips and confectionery packets and items in, and then drop them off at the Montebello Design Centre in Newlands, Cape Town. These bricks (see above image) are used to create some amazing feats of architecture as well as donated towards insulating homes when they are built among other things.
So there you go, there is no excuse for not Reducing, Reusing and Recycling;)