English councils must have recycling collections set up by 2023

26 Jul 19

Local authorities in England will have to collect the main types of recyclable materials by 2023, the government has announced.

All authorities must put in place collections for glass, paper and card, plastic bottles and pots and aluminium within four years, due to legislation to be introduced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

DEFRA has also said that packaging producers will pay the full net cost of disposing of packaging as part of a range of measures that make up the broader Environment Bill later this year.

The department said that the changes would “achieve greater constituency in household and business recycling”, but council leaders have urged the government to make sure it is fully funded.

Martin Tett, environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association, said: “We support moves to a clearly defined core set of recyclable materials, provided it is fully funded, as well as further work on how funding from packaging producers and retailers will be allocated to councils.

“The onus is now on manufacturers to urgently up their game by using packaging that is fully and easily recyclable, and pay the full cost of recycling packaging.”

Currently, packaging producers pay only around 10% of the cost of dealing with packaging waste, but through its Extended Producer Responsibility scheme the government has committed to increasing this to 100%.

Former environment secretary Michael Gove, who released the bill on Tuesday, said: “These measures in our Environment Bill will position the UK as a world leader, ensuring that after the EU exit environmental ambition and accountability are placed more clearly than ever before at the heart of government.”

The housing, communities and local government committee wrote to the department last week urging ministers to give councils flexibility to comply with its Waste Strategy.  

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