Rules and regulations vastly differ around the UK, making the collections confusing for many families.
And the Environment Secretary has now announced a four-point plan to make local councils conform to the same guidelines.
One of his proposals would be to simplify the process, aiming it easier for people to understand what needs to be recycled.
He also wants to slash the types of plastic available, including single use plastic, so recycling companies have an easier job to sort through the rubbish.
And his department also wants to improve recycling rates around the UK, which have started to slump as cash-strapped councils cut costs.
There has been an added challenge from China, which has announced it will no longer take Britain’s recycling.
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “The Secretary of State wants to make recycling as easy as possible for households.
“That is why we will look to accelerate making local authority recycling schemes as consistent as possible through the resources and waste strategy.”
Mr Gove has already been speaking to drinks firms about ways to cut the amount of plastic bottles finding their way into rivers and the sea.
Mr Gove is thought to have been inspired in his plastics clampdown by hit Sir David Attenborough show Blue Planet II.
The documentary highlighted how the scourge of discarded plastic was blighting the world’s oceans and putting marine life in danger.
And his plan comes as campaigners warn 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be binned rather than recycled this Christmas.
Louise Edge, from Greenpeace, said: “It’s a good sign that Michael Gove is thinking about a multi-pronged approach which includes cutting disposable plastic at the source while also making it easier for people to collect and reuse it.”
But Martin Tett, from the Local Government Association, dismissed the idea.
He said: “Common standards for recycling wouldn’t be effective, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem.”
“A key component is reducing the amount of unrecyclable waste we produce in the first place, which is why it’s essential that manufacturers and retailers work with us to achieve this.
“What we need is packaging that is easily recyclable – this would not only make waste disposal easier for our residents, but save considerable amounts of money and energy, whilst protecting our environment.”