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Simpler Recycling

Find out more about the Government's Simpler Recycling proposal.

The Government has now announced its plans, originally outlined in its 2018 Resource and Waste Strategy*, for every council in England to collect a core set of materials. The scheme is now called ‘Simpler Recycling’, formerly known as ‘Consistency in Recycling’.

The announcement asks every local authority to collect the same materials for recycling by 1 April 2026. The materials include:

  • paper and card
  • plastic bottles
  • pots tubs and trays
  • metal food and drinks cans
  • aluminium foil
  • glass bottles and jars
  • cartons
  • food waste
  • plastic film (by April 2027)
  • garden waste (either with or without a subscription service).

Local authorities have been given some flexibility as to how they collect these materials and run their services.

The majority, but not all, of these materials are currently collected in Suffolk and the Suffolk Waste Partnership is now working to determine how any required changes can best be delivered, to continue to deliver quality waste services and provide the most effective and efficient service possible for their residents.

*The Resource and Waste Strategy

HM Government published their Resource and Waste Strategy (RAWS), in December 2018. This Strategy proposed a new nationwide approach to waste and recycling services. Government subsequently undertook several associated public consultations in 2019 and 2021.

The Suffolk Waste Partnership (SWP) welcomed RAWS and supports its overarching aims to reduce waste, improve recycling and support the development of a circular economy. How we treat our waste is fundamental to tackling the challenges of the climate emergency.

The purpose of the three initial consultations (covering Consistency, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), was to establish how any new waste system can effectively work in practice for householders, local authorities, waste management companies, businesses and product manufacturers. The Suffolk Waste Partnership (SWP) responded to all consultations,

The Government has now published its responses to all consultations, meaning the SWP now has the necessary information to consider how any required changes can best be delivered in Suffolk, balancing our commitment to quality public services and sound public finance.

Further updates will be provided in due course.

The strategy:

Resources and waste strategy for England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The (closed) Government consultations:

Consistency in Household and Business Recycling in England - Defra - Citizen Space

Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging - Defra - Citizen Space

Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - Defra - Citizen Space

The Government consultation responses:

Consistency in household and business recycling in England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

EPR Consultation Government response template (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – government response (publishing.service.gov.uk)