The government have finally announced long-awaited plans to reform recycling in England but critics have argued it is unnecessary.

Recycling in England is to be standardised from 2026, with all homes, businesses and schools recycling the same materials.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs announced today: "Reforms to household and business bin collections and a crackdown on unscrupulous waste carriers will boost recycling rates and protect the environment.

"A new, simpler common-sense approach to recycling means people across England will be able to recycle the same materials, whether at home, work or school, putting an end to confusion over what can and can’t be recycled in different parts of the country.

"The government is proposing new exemptions to make sure that waste collectors will be able to collect dry recyclables together, in the same bin or bag, and collect organic waste together, to reduce the number of bins required."

"Simpler recycling will help us all recycle more easily," Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said.

"The government is fiddling with a system that's fundamentally broken"

"The government is fiddling with a system that's fundamentally broken," Nina Schrank from Greenpeace told BBC News.

"The government needs to get serious and back measures to cut the amount of plastic packaging we produce as a country in the first place."

"Alongside weekly food waste collections, we are ending the postcode lottery of what you can put in your bin so that wherever you live in the country, you will be able to recycle the same products with confidence."

"Today's announcement that councils will be able to collect waste materials however they decide is a victory for common sense," said Councillor Sarah Nelmes, environment spokesperson for the District Council's Network. "We can continue to rely on the local solutions which have increased recycling rates."

To make recycling simpler, there is now a list of items which all councils will have to recycle. It includes things like aluminium foil, and several different types of plastic packaging.