Government guidelines to encourage households not to contaminate recycling

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The Government plans to issue guidelines that will encourage people not to put non-recyclable items in their recycling bins.

According to a report in the i newspaper, Defra will ask households to be more selective about what they put in recycling rather than wish-cycling in the belief it should be recycled.

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It is hoped this will improve recycling rates and make the quality of material better for recycling.

The Government hopes that items such as soft plastic bags, toothpaste tubes, crisp packets, wet cardboard, dirty takeaway boxes and juice cartons will no longer be put in recycling bins unless there are specific collections for them.

Manufacturers will also be told not to put a recycling logo on packaging, unless it can be recycled in the new system.

The i also reports that these consistency of collection measures will be launched in the summer and will require every council to collect paper and card, plastics, metal cans and glass bottles and jars separately.

It said that councils will have to explain how they separate each of these streams in order to justify commingled collections.

The i quoted a spokesperson from Defra who said: “We want to make waste and recycling collections simpler and more convenient for homeowners, including by preventing food waste from contaminating recyclable materials.

“This forms part of our drive to increase recycling rates, reducing the impact on our environment and contributing to our net zero ambitions.

“We have held a public consultation on the proposed changes and will announce further details shortly.”