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Defra threatens glass obligated producers with sanctions

Glass obligated producers and compliance schemes are under pressure from Defra to make their glass recycling targets for this year - or face sanctions including legal action.

As predicted when the Q3 glass recycling figures were announced, glass recycling figures have shown a significant spike in the last quarter of the year, reflecting a rise in PRN prices.

MRW reported at the time that the glass targets were deemed impossible by those in the industry. But Defra has stated that it does not know for certain whether the UK will meet glass recycling target until all data is reported by the end of January 2013.

Now Defra has said, according to a statement seen by MRW: “If there are instances of non-compliance identified at the end of the year, the agencies will take appropriate enforcement action.”

In the document, Defra has outlined for the first time the sanctions producers and compliance schemes could face if they fail to comply with their packaging recycling and recovery obligations. The Environment Agency (EA) is also in charge of the enforcement of these some of sanctions. Here is the list:

Non compliance of producer compliance schemes

  • Approval for the scheme conditional on performance, measured by a mid-year target for example. An additional fee to Defra will be ordered.
  • Cancellation of approval.
  • The EA could take legal action alongside the options outlined above, including: a warning letter, a formal caution, or prosecution.
  • The scheme could offer an Enforcement Undertaking to the EA under Civil Sanction arrangements. The offender would have to set out a remedial plan and fund an environmental project equivalent in value to non-compliance to the scheme, and a penalty.

Directly registered producers

  • Civil sanctions for producers include an Enforcement Undertaking, as outlined above
  • Or enforcement by the EA such as a warning letter, a formal caution or seeking to have the matter heard in court with the intention of securing a criminal conviction and fine

Ian Andrews senior market operator from marketplace for PRN trading t2e said Defra’s position statement reinforced previous Defra statements regarding non-compliance.

“This statement follows on from an additional requirement on non compliant glass buyers to provide the agencies with a weekly update on glass purchasing positions,” Andrews said.

“I feel this is the agencies way of applying pressure on buyers who would probably leave buying glass until January thereby trying to apply some downward pressure on prices. I am still receiving volume offers from glass sellers so there appears to be plenty of tonnage available albeit at higher prices.”


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