Waste Reform: Simpler Recycling

January 23rd 2024

As we continue to struggle with the amount of waste produced as a nation, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) took it upon themselves to issue new waste reform in October 2023, initiating a streamlined approach to how we recycle. 

The Simpler Recycling Collections (England Only) reform means that we will all be able to recycle the same materials no matter where you are: home, work or school. This change to what you can and can’t recycle dependent on your location should reduce confusion and hopefully improve recycling rates throughout the country. 

It is Defra’s intention to have the majority of the changes in place by March 2026, however some amendments will be enforced in March 2025. As we approach the year mark to when the reform begins to affect current processes, here’s a recap of the changes.  

  • 31 March 2025 – core recycling should be collected from businesses, schools, and hospitals (garden waste and plastic film are exempt). 
  • 31 March 2026 – local authorities will provide weekly food waste collections and include all core recycling collections for households (glass, metal, plastic, paper and card, and garden waste). 
  • 31 March 2027 – plastic film will be removed as part of the plastic waste stream from households and businesses. 

The changes are tackling two key elements with one reform: improved recycling rates and a simplified approach to waste management. Every step taken now to manage waste effectively, is one step closer to ensuring the future of our country is ruled by the amount of waste lingering in our landfill sites.  


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