Three months after the BBC’s Real Story highlighted the practice; an Essex company has been fined £11,000 for attempting to illegally export waste.
Becciss International and its director Parmir Rai pleaded guilty to two charges after kerbside waste originating from the borough of Boston, Lincolnshire was found in a container ready for shipment to India.
Environment Agency (EA) officers had found the offending shipment during a ports check in Felixstowe. It had been declared to HM Customs and Excise as containing paper and was destined for shipment to Nhava Sheva, Mumbai, India.
Further analysis found that Jackdaw Recycling had lawfully collected the waste from a kerbside collection scheme arranged by Boston Borough Council before passing it on to waste broker Materials Recovery of Kingswood, Buckinghamshire.
It was then passed on to Beciss, and described as ‘co-mingled’, with Jackdaw stating it contained newspapers, magazines, plastics including bottles, cans, cardboard and textiles.
Three containers had already been shipped to Mumbai and the fourth intercepted, with paperwork from the agent and shipping company referring to them as ‘waste paper- unsorted mixed waste’.
Rai told the EA that he believed what he was sending was mostly paper with the odd amount of textiles included, something they did not believe he was justified in thinking.
EA special enforcement officer Abbie Pell said: “While the agency supports and encourages recycling if it is done correctly, this case shows that we will not tolerate the illegal export of waste to sites or countries where no checks have been made to ensure the waste is managed in an environmentally sound manner.”
While Rai suggested that his client in India was expecting to receive ‘co-mingled’ waste to separate and recycle, regulations state that permission needs to be obtained from both the UK and the destination country. No permission had been given and it is thought Becciss saved £1,360 fees.