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Packaging fraudster given community service

A fraudster that issued more packaging recovery notes (PRNs) than the packaging waste he recycled has been ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service.

Stephen Leigh of Staffordshire-based SS Thermoplastics pleaded guilty at Stoke on Trent magistrates to two charges of obtaining monies by deception.

Leigh's prosecution was the result of a joint investigation by the Environment Agency (EA) and Staffordshire Police during 2004.

EA officer Alan Farmer said: "It is essential that businesses and consumers have confidence that the reported level of recycling in the UK is actually taking place."

Last year the Government uncovered massive fraud in the PRN system during 2002-3.

Under the system, companies that must recycle their packaging waste pay reprocessors to issue them PRNs to prove they have met their obligations.

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