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Producers pay £300,000 for packaging breaches

Plastics packaging waste

Packaging producers have agreed to pay more than £300,000 in total to compensate for breaches of waste regulations this year, according to Environment Agency (EA) figures.

Details of civil sanctions administered in the first six months of 2016 showed that 14 companies have agreed to donate money to charity and put in place remedial measures to rectify some compliance failures.

Wine distributer Gonzalez Bypass UK agreed to pay the largest amount – £120,000 – to the Woodland Trust after failing to register with a compliance scheme and failing to take reasonable steps to recycle its packaging. It has now registered with the Biffpack compliance scheme.

Biscuits firm Bahlsen Management decided to donate £20,000 to the Woodland Trust and £19,800 to the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. The firm has now signed up to the Kite compliance scheme.

Hameln Pharmaceuticals pledged £35,000 to the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum and it has now registered with the Kite compliance scheme.

All of these are dwarfed by a record £415,000 paid by baby food and drinks producer HIPP UK to the Woodland Trust, the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust last year.

The penalties were administered in the form of enforcement undertakings, which are civil sanctions that allow the offenders to set out how they propose to put the matter right.

If the EA accepts the proposal, the enforcement undertaking becomes a legally binding voluntary agreement.

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