Michael Gove has said the European Union’s approach to recycling "incentivises the wrong approaches" amid claims that the Government is opposing tough new targets by the bloc.
The Environment Secretary added that the UK was going much further than the EU in other environmental policies and wanted to deliver a "truly green Brexit".
Mr Gove also praised "youngster" George Osborne for his campaign against plastic straws as editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper.
This week the Guardian reported that the Government is opposing strong new recycling targets across the EU.
Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman pressed Mr Gove on the reports in the Commons, saying: "Plastic pollution is one of the great environmental challenges of today.
"The Secretary of State has mentioned a number of times the importance of recycling, so I’m very concerned that we’ve had reports that the Government has been opposing the new EU targets.
"Can the Secretary of State explain why the Government is opposing the new recycling targets?"
Speaking at Environment questions, Mr Gove said: "We’re anxious to make sure that, across the EU, we have the right targets.
"One of the flaws, as I acknowledged earlier, with the EU’s system is, because of its reliance on measuring through weight, sometimes it incentivises the wrong approaches.
"But I’m confident that our own country has gone further than the European Union has requested or has suggested on everything from banning microplastics to looking at taxes for single-use plastics, to indeed introducing the charge on plastic bags.
"In all of these areas, we’ve shown that we’ve gone further and faster than the EU and of course that’s the ambition that this Government has for a truly green Brexit."
In the session Mr Gove also praised the work of some schoolchildren on recycling, adding: "There is one other youngster who’s also been leading the charge against plastic straws, and that is the relatively newly installed editor of the London Evening Standard, whose campaign, The Last Straw, has been instrumental in ensuring that commercial organisations ban plastic straws.
"As someone who’s a relatively new entrant to my profession of journalism, can I commend him for the promising start he’s shown."
Speaker John Bercow said: "The Secretary of State thinks the young man’s not doing too badly.
"I’m sure the young man concerned will feel fortified by that."