While retailers currently pay towards collection and recycling of the cardboard waste they produce through the Packaging Recycling Obligation system, councils spend millions of pounds annually for collection and recycling.
Labour MP Mary Creagh, chairman of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, said: “Online retailers should pay to recycle their packaging, but the UK’s recycling system lets them off the hook, leaving cash-strapped councils and taxpayers to pick up the tab.”
Lee Marshall, of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, said: “Years of austerity mean council budgets have been heavily squeezed, so it’s time for the UK to reform packing regulations so that producers pass funding through to local authorities to support and expand recycling collections.”
One suggestion is couriers collect unwanted boxes from customers while they make their rounds.
Amazon, the world’s biggest retailer, has said it has made efforts to reduce the amount of packaging it uses.
A spokesman said: “We have introduced a number of sustainable packaging initiatives, like Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging, which promotes easy-to-open, 100% recyclable packaging and lets us ship products in their own packages without additional boxes.
“Over the past 10 years, we have eliminated more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials, avoiding the use of 500 million shipping boxes.”