Retailers are sending half as much rubbish to the dump as they did five years ago and have slashed carbon dioxide emissions.

Stores now put less than 25% of their waste to landfill compared to almost 50% in 2005, the British Retail Consortium’s A better retailing climate progress report 2010 showed.

Retailers also cut energy-related emissions form buildings and carbon dioxide emissions from transporting goods by 18%, the study revealed.

The trade organisation warned however that official interference – in particular the Government’s “localism” agenda – could hold back progress.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Retailers have a proud record of delivering impressive environmental results on a voluntary basis, without the need for legislation.

“There could be benefits from more local decision making, but the Government’s localism agenda presents significant challenges to the environmental work being done by retailers.

“Many climate change objectives are set nationally and internationally but often the opposition to schemes, such as wind farms or energy from waste plants, comes locally. We can’t let nimbyism get in the way.”