Plastic bags and food wrappers will soon be collected from thousands of Reading homes as part of a £200,000 recycling trial.

The trial will likely start towards the end of July – expanding across Wokingham and Bracknell next year – following a council vote.

Under the scheme, people will also be able to throw away plastic sleeves, bubble wrap, cling film and net bags with their recycling. These will go into a blue single-use bag which refuse collectors will send to a national processing centre.

But plastic straws and cutlery, pills and tablets blister packs, disposable masks, and foam or polystyrene won’t be included. Plastic bottles and ready meal trays will go with the rest of the recycling as normal.

Council plans say residents of the 5,000 selected homes in Reading will receive information leaflets along with their blue recycling bags soon.

The trial could begin “at the end of July,” according to Sarah Innes of re3, the waste collection company serving Reading, Bracknell and Wokingham.

Councillors from Reading Borough, Wokingham Borough and Bracknell Forest councils approved the scheme at a meeting on Thursday, June 15.

It is part of a national research trial run by the FlexCollect project, which is backed by the government, and comes with £200,000 of funding.

The scheme got unanimous support from councillors. But Wokingham councillor Sarah Kerr said she found one “sticking point” with how the scheme will run.

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She pointed out that Wokingham Borough Council has recently decided to replace plastic recycling bags with wheelie bins.

Councillor Kerr said: “We’re moving away from single-use plastic blue residual bags to wheelie bins.

“If we then re-introduce single-use plastic bags that is then optically going to be very, very bad for us.”

But she added the problem wasn’t just a matter of communications and public relations. She also wanted to make sure that producing blue plastic bags wouldn’t cause more emissions and waste.

She asked: “Is there a way of working with the provider to look at an alternative way of collecting this so we’re not using single-use plastic bags?

“If we’re actually generating carbon emissions to produce bags, that’s the issue.”

Sarah Innes said the blue plastic bags would be recycled along with the waste that is put inside them.

She added: “We’re happy to talk to FlexCollect about what options there might be for the second year, but it might be there isn’t an awful lot we can do.”