End postcode lottery over recycling, MPs tell local councils 

Conservative MP Neil Parish says ensuring all local authorities 'collect the same plastics for recycling' will make it 'easier' for packaging to be labelled

Conservative MP Neil Parish says ensuring all local authorities ‘collect the same plastics for recycling’ will make it ‘easier’ for packaging to be labelled

Councils must introduce consistent recycling regimes to end the confusion of each one having its own rules, say MPs.

The country needs a simple system for household collections of plastic, paper, metal and glass to increase the proportion of waste that is recycled, say members of the Commons environment, food and rural affairs committee.

They also backed the introduction of a bottle refund scheme to ensure more plastic is collected for recycling.

At the moment, packaging is littered with a confusing selection of symbols which are supposed to identify items that can be recycled. However, the reality is that this varies between each local council.

The committee looked specifically at food and drink packaging. Its chairman, Conservative MP Neil Parish, said: ‘Currently, packaging labelling can be confusing, unclear or even misleading.  

‘Ensuring that all local authorities collect the same plastics for recycling will make it easier for packaging to be labelled, so consumers know whether that packaging is recyclable.’ 

Packaging labelling can be confusing, unclear or even misleading and means people sometimes fail to recycle items, MP Neil Parish said (file image)

Packaging labelling can be confusing, unclear or even misleading and means people sometimes fail to recycle items, MP Neil Parish said (file image)

Mr Parish, along with other councils, is fighting for a consistent recycling scheme across the country and to find alternative ways to identify products which can be recycled - as current symbols cause confusion (file image)

Mr Parish, along with other councils, is fighting for a consistent recycling scheme across the country and to find alternative ways to identify products which can be recycled – as current symbols cause confusion (file image)

HOW MUCH RECYCLING ENDS UP IN LANDFILL?

Every day, millions of us drop a plastic bottle or cardboard container into the recycling bin – and we feel we’re doing our bit for the environment.

But what we may not realise is that most plastic never gets recycled at all, often ending up in landfill or incineration depots instead.

Of 30 billion plastic bottles used by UK households each year, only 57 per cent are currently recycled, with half going to landfill, half go to waste.

Most plastic never gets recycled at all, often ending up in landfill or incineration depots instead. Supermarkets are packed to the gills with plastic so I did my weekly shops at a farmers' market - something that may seem old-fashioned to ‘millenials’

Most plastic never gets recycled at all, often ending up in landfill or incineration depots instead. Around 700,000 plastic bottles a day end up as litter

Around 700,000 plastic bottles a day end up as litter.

This is largely due to plastic wrapping around bottles that are non-recyclable. 

Every year, the UK throws away 2.5 billion ‘paper’ cups, amounting to 5,000 cups a minute. 

Shockingly, less than 0.4 per cent of these are recycled.

Most cups are made from cardboard with a thin layer of plastic. 

This lining keeps your coffee warm and stops the cardboard going soggy, but also makes the cup almost impossible to recycle.  

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