The UK failed to meet its overall packaging waste recovery target last year, Environment Minister Michael Meacher has announced.
However, targets for recycling individual materials like paper and glass were met, he said in a Commons written reply.
A European Union directive, which has far-reaching implications for the food and beverage packaging sector, set the target of between 50 per cent and 65 per cent for packaging waste recovery.
Mr Meacher said the UK achieved only 47.9 per cent but it did hit the overall recycling target of between 25 per cent and 45 per cent by recording 42 per cent.
Under the directive, the UK has been set a recycling target of 15 per cent for materials like steel, aluminium and plastic.
The UK has been blasted by the EU on a number of occasions in the past for dragging its heals on a number of recycling issues pertaining to the food and beverage packaging industry. The EU has claimed that the UK has been holding back the implementation process because it has failed to fully interpret certain areas of the directive.