It's time to start washing and squashing your bottles Hastings, and do not put anything else in your plastic recycling.

As of May 1, Hastings District Council will only be collecting bottles which are grades 1-2 plastic.

Plastic recycling in Hastings is sorted at speed, with about 600 items a minute passing the sorters, meaning they have to easily recognise plastic which can be recycled by sight, rather than checking the grades.

Due to this, Hastings District Council made the decision in March to limit plastic recycling to grades 1 and 2 bottles which are easily identifiable.

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The decision was made not to recycle plastics such as trays and punnets as, while some are plastic grades 1-2, many are not, making them hard to identify.

If plastic grades are mixed, the risk is plastic which can be recycled will end up in landfill.

Joint Waste Futures Committee chairman Tania Kerr says the real issue is how much plastic is produced.

"Hastings and other councils are collectively involved in moves at the national level to have changes made to packaging."

"But to help reinforce that, council is encouraging residents to apply pressure as consumers."

"That means reducing how much plastic we buy and, when we have no choice but to buy it, making sure we choose plastics that can and will be recycled whenever possible."

In Hastings the rule, from May 1, is plastic bottles 1-2, lids off, washed and squashed.