Too often, local groups have a lack of clear and accountable information on recycling markets available to them, he said.
Speaking to the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN), Mr Gummer said: 'Free labour, organisation and above all the commitmentinvolved in recycling is too often going literally to waste.
'Falling prices and subsidised imports which undermine schemes are part of the problem, but too often it is not even the economic constraints which are too blame, rather the lack of clear, accountable information on recycling markets upon which local groups can plan. This is clearly unacceptable. The volunteer recycler is a partner, and business must treat him accordingly and give him a sound base on which to plan.
'There is also a need for concerted action on packaging symbols and the availability of local recycling facilities. The consumer needs clear advice on marking - steel and aluminium cans, which is which - and the types of plastic used on bottles and containers which are recyclable. The citizen needs to know what can be done with any item of packaging, the local facilities available for recovery and what terms are on offer from reprocessors if he or she wishes to set up a recycling group of their own.'