Town hall chiefs want firms to cut the wide variety of plastics used to package foods to help cut waste and increase recycling.

The Local Government Association said 525,000 tons of throwaway pots, tubs and trays are used by households a year.

But too many plastic products contain low grade polymers, such as polystyrene, that cannot be reused — meaning just 169,145 tons are recycled.

The LGA said manufacturers should work with councils to stop unrecyclable plastic getting into the system.

And the Government should look at banning low-grade plastics.

Firms that refuse should be forced to pay for the clean-up.

The LGA’s Judith Blake said firms must “stop letting a smorgasbord of unrecyclable and damaging plastic flow into our environment”.

She added: “The Government should ban low-grade plastics.”

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