The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) has called new UK government packaging waste rules a burden on business.

"The new rules highlight the government's abject failure to tackle in a meaningful and efficient way our society's "throw away" attitude to packaging waste, and place an unenforceable and impractical burden on business,' said RMIF chief executive Matthew Carrington.

The new Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2005 require retailers, including franchised motor dealerships and service stations, to inform consumers about recycling options for packaging on goods purchased from their outlets.

Under the new regulations retailers must provide information about the packaging waste recovery systems available to customers, the consumer's role in contributing to recycling, the meaning of related markings on packaging as well as the relevant legislation.

Carrington said: "I am intrigued as to how the government thinks this regulation will work in practice. Realistically, retailers can only communicate via leaflets or notices, which create more waste and are not guaranteed to be read.

"These new regulations defy all logic. You only need to look at the litter that blights the side of almost every road to see that the government's approach to packaging waste is just not working.

"Legislation can be developed without the need to license every small business in the land."

He added: 'In this country there are few incentives for consumers to recycle. The government could learn a lot from other European member states, such as Germany, where there are schemes that allow consumers to recoup the deposit on bottles and cans when they are returned for recycling.

"In addition, more pressure needs to be placed on packaging manufacturers and importers to switch to recyclable materials and to take responsibility for the recycling of their products, as is the case in other European countries. The pressure should certainly not be on retailers, who have no control over packaging or what consumers choose to do with their goods once they leave the shop."