Responding to national media reports, Defra has said it wants to make it easier for the public to know what to recycle and will announce details on the consistency collections consultation response soon.
Following a Defra media briefing this week, several national media outlets reported the government are encouraging people to limit “wishcycling” – when someone puts items in their recycling bin either hoping or mistakenly believing they can be recycled. Over the past week, there have been reports in I News, the Times, the Telegraph, the Mail Online and the Independent.
Some reports framed the guidance as the government asking the public to put less waste in their recycling bins. However, Defra has now released a statement which clarifies it isn’t asking people to recycle less or put fewer items into recycling bins but wants to spread awareness of what should and should not be recycled.
The statement also said Defra wants to make recycling easier and more consistent to ensure all local authorities across England collect the same materials. The government says this will make it easier for everyone to know what materials can be collected for recycling and lead to a reduction in waste going to landfill.
We want to make recycling easier and ensure that there is a comprehensive, consistent service across England.
A Defra spokesperson said: “We want to make recycling easier and ensure that there is a comprehensive, consistent service across England. This will help increase recycled material in the products we buy and boost a growing UK recycling industry.
“Local authorities are already required to separately collect types of recycling, but many can and do mix their waste collections – so paper, glass and other material are in the same bin and separated later.
“New rules under the Environment Act mean that councils will be required to separately collect garden waste and food, but the mixing of dry recycling will still be possible.”