The department is searching for an agency to run the campaign, with a shortlist being drawn up as PRWeek went to press.
The drive aims to reduce waste sent to landfills.
Latest government figures reveal the UK sends more than half of its waste to landfill - 62 million tonnes a year in England alone. The aim is to reduce this figure by at least 50 per cent over the next ten years.
A brief put out by Defra states that it is primarily targeting ‘committed recyclers'.
Priority audience groups identified are ‘positive greens' and ‘waste watchers', as well as the less committed ‘concerned consumers' and ‘sideline supporters' - those who have environmental beliefs but which are ‘relatively weak'.
The campaign is intended to ‘educate people in a way that surprises them'.
The brief continues: ‘The focus of this message needs to be around busting common myths and explaining the journey of waste.'
The contract will run from October to next March with a budget of £94,000.