A bill led by a Manchester MP which could force retailers to recycle their packaging is to be debated in the Commons later.
The BRC said local authority waste collection is best
Lib Dem MP for Hazel Grove Andrew Stunell is sponsoring the Retail Packaging Recycling Bill.
It aims to force shops to provide in-store collection for waste and take responsibility for its disposal.
But stores claim this legislation would be "impractical and unsafe" and have no significant environmental gains.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said many retailers are providing collection facilities for a range of recyclable materials but compelling stores to collect waste is unworkable.
They claim that it proves problematic for storage, hygiene, collection and extra staff to help sort it.
BRC director general Kevin Hawkins said: "Retailers are doing a great deal - cutting back packaging, reducing the environmental impact of plastic bags and, where practical offering recycling facilities.
"Local authorities' failure to agree with each other on what they will and won't recycle is a significant barrier and is actually preventing retailers and manufacturers informing consumers about what and how they should recycle."
MP Andrew Stunell said: "This is a very straightforward bill. It means that all the packaging you get at the stores, all the paper and the plastic - you should be able to go back to the shop and say thank you, but I don't want it.
"I find it astonishing that they don't want to do this."