European Organisation for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN) managing director Julian Carroll insisted the UKs waste industry was too complex.
Brussels-based Carroll said there were too many funding streams, support services, regulations and taxes for firms to know what was best.
He said the Government should concentrate on waste diversion and education rather than weight-based targets and legislation.
Carroll told delegates at the fifth Waste Action Forum in Barnsley: Too many different schemes could be diluting the overall waste and recycling effort.
A balance needs to be achieved between maintaining a broad perspective on waste streams and eradicating schemes that are proving ineffective in dealing with these.
He added that the UK should focus on using its own data as a benchmark because European data is not directly comparable with the UK.