Calls are being made to change to rubbish and recycling collections, due to the increasing need to recycle efficiently, says Defra.
Household recycling rates in England have increased significantly from 11% in 2001 to 45.2% in 2017. Recently however, progress has been much slower and rates have remained at around 45%.
Some local authorities have seen a drop-in recycling rates and do not collect the full range of materials that can be recycled or do not collect food waste separately.
Many householders have found they are confused about what they can and cannot recycle.
Plastic waste is an urgent environmental problem and public awareness of the issue as risen in recent years, subsequently there is a large demand for better waste management including better recycling.
It is harder to improve the quantity and quality of what we recycle due to only a few current drivers to encourage local authorities to expand recycling services.
China banned the import of post-consumer contaminated plastic and paper in 2018, which has added to the need to improve the quality of what is collected for recycling and to reduce contamination.
Contamination occurs when people put items in their recycling bin that are not collected as part of dry recycling, such as food waste.
Improving the quality of material collected would help to increase demand for these materials in the UK and help to ensure that they meet higher quality standards for export.
Many have now called for greater consistency in the materials collected for recycling as well as how it is collected. There also needs to be investment in separate food waste collection to reduce the amount of food waste going to landfill, where it releases harmful greenhouse gases.