BRC says no to in-store waste collection

A proposal to make drinks retailers collect and dispose of their customers' used packaging is "impractical and unsafe", according to the British Retail Consortium.

The Retail Packaging Recycling Bill, which suggests that shops should provide in-store collection for waste, was given its second reading today.

But the BRC is against the proposal because it says it will present "severe difficulties" for retailers.

BRC director general, Kevin Hawkins said: "In-store waste collection would create a potential health hazard and fire risk and put huge demands on staff time. Local authorities already have systems and facilities in place. Retailers contribute £4.5 billion a year towards them. They are best placed to deal with waste."

Hawkins said there was also a danger of shops becoming dumping grounds for waste if local authorities introduce pay-as-you-throw waste charging.

Tesco has led the way on reducing packaging. The retailer pledged in April that it would cut its packaging by 25% and provide consumers with clear on-pack information about recyclability by 2010.