Some businesses are dragging their feet ahead of new waste rules coming into effect in January, the Every Can Counts initiative has warned.
Under the EU Waste Framework Directive, shopping centres and retail outlets in England and Wales will be required to separate waste paper, metal, plastic and glass from January 2015.
A survey of shopping centre facility managers by Every Can Counts revealed some of their retail tenants saw recycling as a “distraction”.
One centre manager said: “We do have various procedures that we go through in terms of filtering messages to our retail tenants, but it is very difficult to actually enforce recycling upon them.
“Trying to get that message out an monitor what all of them are doing would require a lot of time and investment.”
But other centre managers said they had not experienced any “major barriers” in getting shops to cope with recycling procedures.
The research echoes warnings outlined in a survey in Scotland in 2013, which found a third of businesses had not included drinks cans in their recycling ahead of separate collections regulations enacted on 1 January 2014.
Every Can Counts executive director Rick Hindley, left, said: “The introduction of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations next year means that it is more important than ever for businesses to consider their recycling policies in order to achieve zero waste targets.
“By offering insight and advice, along with free supporting communication materials to create highly visible recycling points, we are working with shopping centres to improve recycling facilities, infrastructure, and education, ensuring that retailers and staff are well placed to comply with the new legislation.”
Every Can Counts, which encourages businesses to focus on aluminium and steel can recycling, is managed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation. To date around 1,700 organisations have signed up to the initiative.
Twelve shopping centres throughout the UK are registered, accounting for around 14,000 staff and dealing with 110 million shoppers a year.