The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has called on the Government to act more swiftly to implement the Batteries Directive, which comes into force this September.
Under the Directive the UK has to recycle 25% of its portable batteries by 2012, rising to 45% by 2016.
An ESA spokesman said: The Government should implement the European Directive more effectively and faster in order to meet the targets.
It will need to step up the challenge to increase the amount of battery recycling facilities in order for the public to recycle more.
The ESAs comments follow the launch of the new Recycle on the Go campaign by Environment Minister Joan Ruddock, which aims to put accessible recycling bins in public places.
In Britain, most batteries end up in either landfills or energy-from-waste facilities. While Belgium recycles nearly two out of every three batteries, Britain recycles less than 1 in 30, said ESA chief executive Dirk Hazell.
In terms of environmental impact, batteries are far more important than plastic bags, and they should be subject to a robust policy of producer responsibility.
ESA is the UKs trade association for waste and secondary resource management.