RESIDENTS are being told not to put plastic bags out for recycling under revised rules.

Colchester Council is sending out the new 2019/20 recycling calendar to residents.

Following a decision at Colchester Council’s Cabinet meeting, residents will now be asked to put any plastic bags, film and wraps in black bags rather than their recycling.

The council said there was no demand for these plastics and they cannot be recycled.

These items are also not accepted at Essex County Council’s recycling centres at Shrub End and West Mersea.

Items which cannot be recycled include shopping bags, bread bags, salad bags, cling film, ready meal packets, sweet and chocolate wrappers, or plastic packaging from  magazines or brochures.

The three black bag limit for households will not be increased as a result as the council said evidence shows there will not be a significant increase in the amount of black bag rubbish.Recycling bags containing any of these plastic items will still be collected but the items will be removed and sent to landfill.

Martin Goss (Lib Dem), councillor responsible for waste, said: “We really appreciate the effort residents put into recycling and the fact the borough had the third largest increase in household recycling rates in 2017-18 in England, demonstrates that.

“We’re still committed to recycling as much as possible in the borough but it’s important we’re honest with residents about what can and cannot be recycled.

“Over the coming months we will educating residents and organisations about what plastic items can no longer be recycled, suggesting more sustainable replacements for these and continuing to promote the reduction of single-use plastics.”

The printed calendar is on recycled paper and uses vegetable oil based inks.

It sets out the schedule of all collections between April 1 and the end of March 2020.

Last year the council launched its Colchester Plastic Pledge campaign to encourage residents and businesses to be more plastic aware.