A supplier of hairdressing equipment has been fined almost £11,000 under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, in the first prosecution of its kind.
Aston & Fincher, of Walsall, Birmingham, pledged guilty to 31 charges brought by the Environment Agency (EA) under producer responsibility legislation. The charges related to failing to register as a WEEE producer and failing to comply with packaging regulations.
Producer responsibility legislation ensures that businesses recycle a percentage of their waste packaging, by making companies register and demonstrate that they have recycled their packaging waste.
The company was found to have committed offences yearly between 2001 and 2008 by failing to register for the recovery and recycling of WEEE and packaging. It was fined £650 for each offence, as well as being ordered to pay compensation of £7,135 for lost registration fees and costs of £3,605.
However, Aston & Fincher secretary David Winnington, said in mitigation that the company was simply not aware of the waste regulations, and it is now fully compliant.
EA officer Hannah Wooldridge said: “This is the first prosecution of a business for offences under both the packaging regulations and the producer responsibility legislation for electrical equipment. It should send a strong message out to all companies who do have producer responsibility obligations to ensure that they comply with the legal requirements placed on them.
“We will continue to enforce these regulations, using our resources to target high-risk areas. These regulations do not set out to criminalise companies who don’t comply. They are about making all producers responsible for their impact on the environment, and helping them to reduce it wherever possible.”