Simon Baldry said the government must put pressure on local authorities across the land to adopt a more consistent approach to collection if the proportion of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used in plastic drinks bottles is be raised.
"There is a massive willingness from manufacturers and retailers alike to play their part in convincing consumers [to recycle more]," said Baldry. "The trouble is we do not have consistency across the 460-odd local authorities and government is not prepared to play its part in bringing a common playing field to bear."
Baldry called for a common and systematic approach to kerbside collection and segregation of plastics as exists in other EU countries such as Germany and Belgium to enable manufacturers and retailers to educate consumers to recycle more.
"I really do not think it is beyond the wit of us to have a common approach to kerbside collection, which we believe can work," said Baldry. This would then help to develop the market for recycled plastics, he added.
Earlier this year Continuum Recycling, a joint venture between CCE and processor ECO Plastics was opened in Lincolnshire, which is capable of recycling 44,000t of "bottle grade" PET a year. This project was set up to help CCE meet its target for using 25% of recycled PET in all its bottles by the end of the year.
"We have worked with LOCOG [the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games] and the waste management provider at the Olympic Games to take back the 20M or so of the clear plastic bottles that we put onto the Park and, within six weeks, return those into 80M new bottles," said Baldry. "And that's a clear commitment from us that within six weeks time, the bottle you'll have drunk from at the Olympics will be recycled and it will be back into a new bottle for fresh consumption. It can work."