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Recycling

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL4015, tabled on 15 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce confusion regarding recycling in England; what plans they have to require companies to simplify recycling instructions on their packaging; and whether they have plans to legislate to standardise local authority rules over what can and cannot be recycled.

Answered on

29 November 2021

As part of our Resources and Waste Strategy, we want to make recycling easier and ensure that there is a comprehensive and consistent service across England. This will help to reduce confusion with recycling, ensure that there is more recycled material in the products we buy, and that the UK recycling industry grows.

Following support at public consultation, the Environment Act 2021 requires that all waste collection authorities in England must make arrangements for a core set of materials to be collected for recycling from households. This core set includes: paper and card; plastic; glass; metal; food waste and garden waste. The Environment Act 2021 also requires that all businesses and non-domestic premises in England must make arrangements to recycle the same set of recyclable materials, with the exception of garden waste.

In our recent consultation on ‘Consistency in Household and Business Recycling in England’, we consulted on defining these waste streams in greater detail in secondary legislation. We are currently analysing stakeholder responses and will publish the result of these decisions in our government response in early 2022.

Earlier this year we consulted on proposals to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging in the UK, these proposals include a mandatory requirement for producers to label packaging to indicate whether it is or isn’t recyclable. This will ensure that consumers are provided with clear and consistent information and will help to make it easier for them to recycle. We are currently analysing stakeholder responses to the consultation and will set out further details in the Government Response which will be published in early 2022.