A Surrey wine distributor has been ordered to pay a £33,000 fine after failing to comply with the Producer Responsibility Obligations Regulations (Packaging Waste) 2007.
Guilford-based Les Caves de Pyrene pleaded guilty at Guildfords Magistrates Court for failing to register with the Environment Agency and to meeting its requirements to recover and recycle packaging waste between 2000 and 2007.
The firm is an independent wine importer and wholesaler who supply wines to bars and restaurants in the London area.
It was estimated that the company had avoided costs of £26,800 by not registering and purchasing the correct amount of Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs).
Under the Packaging Waste Regulations, firms who have an annual turnover in excess of £2 million and handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging per year must register with the EA or a compliance scheme.
Each year, the company must also provide evidence of payment for recovery and recycling of a specified proportion of their packaging. The types of packaging covered by this legislation are wood, aluminium, steel, cardboard and plastic.
EA investigating officer Laura Dowsett said: It is disappointing that although the regulations have been in force for over a decade, there are still a significant number of companies that are not compliant with the regulations.
Businesses that are not registered have less incentive to reduce and recycle the packaging they handle, they increase the amount of waste which goes to landfill and they are not investing in the UK recycling industry.