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Noncompliance over waste rules sees firms pay almost £90K to good causes

Melanie May | 11 November 2022 | News

a stack of cardboard boxes. By Justyna Koniecz from Pixabay

A tech firm, a drinks company and a home furnisher will pay a total of around £87,000 to good causes for noncompliance with packaging waste regulations designed to protect the environment.

Marlow IT infrastructure and services provider Softcat plc has pledged £35,803.99 to the National Trust, after failing to comply with the law for more than a decade.

Alcoholic drinks firm Sazerac UK Limited, based in Hampton Wick, will contribute £45,088.49 to Surrey Wildlife Trust after failure to comply from 2017 to 2019.

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And La-Z-Boy UK Limited, based in Maidenhead, will give £5,736.89 to Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, due to noncompliance in 2020.

All three recognised that they had failed to comply with regulations that ensure businesses fund the recycling of the packaging waste that they place on the UK market.

By failing to register with a compliance scheme and to take reasonable steps to recover and recycle packaging waste, the businesses also avoided paying a charge based on how much packaging they got through in the same period.

The money paid to the charities will help provide and protect local wildlife habitats and wetland areas, and improve people’s access to and enjoyment of these places.

Environment Agency senior technical officer Jake Richardson said:

“Any company handling more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year, and with a turnover of above £2 million, must register with the Environment Agency or a packaging compliance scheme, and meet their responsibilities for recycling waste packaging. If companies fail to meet their obligations under environmental law, we will take action to ensure that they change their ways.”

The Environment Agency accepted proactive enforcement undertaking offers from all 3 companies, a type of civil sanction which allows businesses to make amends while demonstrating how they will comply with the law in future.

The companies each agreed to register with a compliance scheme, revise internal processes and assign a responsible person.

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