German-style legislation forcing supermarkets to accept packaging returned by customers was proposed in the Commons this week.

Lib Dem local government spokesman Andrew Stunell introduced a private Retail Packaging Recycling Bill, which proposes creating a legal responsibility for larger stores to provide collection facilities.

Similar laws are already in force in Germany and Switzerland.

The MP claims a British version would encourage retailers to put pressure on suppliers and manufacturers to cut down on packaging.

"An absurd amount of unnecessary waste is produced daily in every supermarket up and down the country," he told The Grocer. "Fruit and veg are wrapped in plastic and then put in plastic bags. Apples on plastic trays, bananas in bags, peppers in polythene - they all clog landfill sites, add to climate change and cost consumers.

"My Bill puts the responsibility back on the retailer. They will soon find out just how difficult much of it is to recycle because of different materials being bonded together."

Stunell said his measure would only apply to larger shops.

The Bill is due to come up for its Second Reading on 15 June.