"This is sort of thing that gets the EU a deservedly bad name. I shouldn't say so but I hope people disobey this ban," said an official.
"It will seem bonkers that olive oil jugs must go while vinegar bottles or refillable wine jugs can stay."
Responding to the ban, Martin Callanan MEP, the leader of the European Conservative and Reformist group, asked: "Is it April 1st?".
"With the euro crisis, a collapse in confidence in the EU, and a faltering economy surely the commission has more important things to worry about than banning refillable olive oil bottles? They should be seeking to reduce unnecessary packaging," he said.
A Defra spokesperson said: “While we welcome some of the new rules on improved labelling, we did not support this ban as it will likely lead to unnecessary waste and place added burdens on businesses.
“We will continue to work with the catering industry to help them adapt to these changes.”