Environment Agency
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Buckinghamshire firm pays heavily for packaging oversight

Local wildlife trusts to receive a £20,000+ windfall.

A Buckinghamshire company have made a financial contribution of almost £21,000 to a local charity, plus Environment Agency costs, after it failed to comply with packaging waste regulations designed to protect the environment. 

Hi-Tech Coatings International Limited, an Aylesbury-based coatings manufacturer, has pledged £20,935.76 to the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, after failing to comply with the law. 

The law in question is the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 (as amended), which ensures that businesses fund the recycling of the packaging waste that they place on the UK market.  

By failing to register and to take reasonable steps to recover and recycle packaging waste, the business avoided paying to offset their obligation based on how much packaging they handled in the previous calendar year.

The money paid to the charity will help protect local wildlife habitats and wetland areas through its College Lake programme, near Tring, in Buckinghamshire. The contribution will go towards ongoing management of College Lake, ensuring it remains accessible, safe and of interest to visitors.

Along with aiding the delivery of their education programme aimed at key stage 1 and 2 children, sessions will include pond dipping, bug hunting, birdwatching, history and geology of the site, habitat surveys and how to care for the planet.

Jake Richardson, a senior technical officer for the Environment Agency, said: 

Any company handling more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year, and with a turnover in excess of £2 million, must register with the Environment Agency or a packaging compliance scheme, and meet their responsibilities for recycling waste packaging. 

If companies fail to meet their obligations under environmental law, we will take action to ensure that they change their ways. 

The Environment Agency accepted Hi-Tech Coatings Limited’s proactive enforcement undertaking offer, a type of civil sanction that allows businesses to make amends while demonstrating through tangible actions, how they will comply with the law in future.  

Mr Richardson added: 

The company also agreed to take measures to ensure it complies with its packaging waste responsibilities in the future.  

We’re satisfied it won’t repeat its mistakes. 

The Environment Agency uses enforcement undertakings for suitable cases, in accordance with its enforcement and sanctions policy. It reserves prosecutions for cases where evidence shows high levels of culpability and serious environmental harm.  

Anyone who spots pollution should report it to the Environment Agency via its free 24-hour incident hotline: 0800 80 70 60.

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/buckinghamshire-firm-pays-heavily-for-packaging-oversight

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