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Packaging company receives triple whammy fines

A supplier of electrical goods and batteries has become the first business to be prosecuted for failing to comply with environmental legislation across three separate material types.

Babz Media, an online trading company operating from Middlesex, pleaded guilty at Ealing Magistrates’ Court to failing to register with both the Environment Agency (EA) and a producer recycling scheme.

The court heard that the company imported electrical goods and batteries from Europe for sale in the UK.

It had imported 163 tonnes of batteries for sale between 2011 and 2013, 188 tonnes of electrical equipment between 2012 and 2013 and was obligated to recycle 76 tonnes of packaging waste in 2013.

An investigation by the EA established that Babz Media should have complied with waste regulations for all three material types from 2011 but had failed to do so until 2014.

The company was ordered to pay a total of £45,500 in fines, and an additional £8,724 to the EA for the avoided registration fees and prosecution costs.

The court noted the company’s early guilty plea and its co-operation with the EA, but said that it had been careless in its lack of awareness of its recycling obligations.

Hannah Wooldridge, senior EA officer, said: “This case shows that businesses must consider all aspects of regulation, and that environmental aspects are an important part of due diligence at all times. 

“These regulations can affect all types of business, no matter the method of selling. Online trading does not excuse companies from being compliant with the law. This is a substantial fine reflecting the seriousness of the case, and Babz is the first producer to be prosecuted in England across all three producer responsibility regimes.”

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