Brown paper bags are made from paper that has already been recycled several times.

Each time paper is recycled the tiny fibres it is made up of get shorter. This means the paper becomes more like the rough card that egg boxes made out of.

In other word, you cannot recycle the same piece of paper over and over again forever. It degrades each time its recycled.

Recently there has been a big jump in the use of brown paper bags being used by supermarkets and fast food deliveries.

There is now too much brown paper in our paper collection.

Paper recycling mills no longer accept brown paper as they try to keep the quality of their recycled paper up. They still, however, take newspapers, magazines, office paper and school paper.

Cardboard recycling companies, in contrast, have a much more robust process and can accept harsher material. They are not trying to produce a clean pure white product.

So we have decided to ask for all brown paper to go in with the cardboard.

We appreciate it may be confusing – brown paper bags are marked as paper. But not all paper is equal.

Thank you for your cooperation.