The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has called on supermarkets to provide recycling points for a wider range of plastic products.
Under guidance issued by the organisation, customers should be able to recycle salad bags, crisp packets, biscuit wrappers, bread bags and frozen food bags at stores.
Supermarkets who have signed up to WRAP’s “Plastics Pact”, which includes all Big 4 grocers, are obliged to follow the advice by the end of the year.
According to WRAP, just six per cent of plastic bags and wrapping are currently recycled.
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The charity claimed that under 20 per cent of local authorities collect flexible packaging as part of their kerbside recycling service.
WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover called the guidance a “critical step forwards” in tackling the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill.
“Ensuring that consumers have consistent information on where to recycle plastic bags and wrappers is also critical,” he added.
WRAP believes many people are unsure if they can recycle flexible packaging, with plastic bags and wrapping among the most-searched terms on its website.
Co-op environment manager Iain Ferguson welcomed the instructions to “simplify recycling for consumers.”
He said: “Our own trials inform us that shoppers support simple solutions to these everyday issues with accessible disposal routes and clear messaging.”
The news comes after Tesco announced it would save around 50 million pieces of plastic by changing its beer and cider packaging.