Olive oil company Filippo Berio UK and pharmaceuticals firm Sandoz have both made contributions under the civil sanctions regime for not meeting packaging waste obligations.
The two are among a number of businesses who have paid civil penalties rather than facing possible legal action during the period August 2016 to January 2017.
The Environment Agency announced this week that about £1.5 million of payments to charities were made overall under the civil penalties system during the six months, by “companies which broke environmental laws”. Besides the payments under the packaging regime, the total figure includes sums paid by other companies over water regulation failures.
The highest sum given to charity under the packaging waste rules came from olive oil company, Filippo Berio UK Ltd, which has paid £253,906 to the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust after “failing to carry out its Producer Responsibility Regulations”.
The Agency said the contribution will “compensate for not meeting their obligations under the Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997- 2007”.
Filippo Berio UK had failed to register as a producer of packaging, and failed to meet its requirements to recover and recycle packaging waste between 1997 and 2014. Filippo Berio UK Ltd avoided paying costs of £195,313 (£9636 in registration fees and £185,677 in packaging recovery notes).
Following correspondence from the EA, the Agency said the company has since registered as a packaging producer with the Ecosurety compliance scheme and “put in place provision to ensure that non-compliance does not happen again”.
A spokeswoman for Filippo Berio said the company had no comment to make on the matter.
Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, made payments following a misinterpretation of the regulations. This, said the Environment Agency, led the company to falsely believe that the Producer Responsibility Regulations obligations fell on their distributor.
The Agency stated: “However, the company is obligated under law to recover and recycle paper, glass, aluminium, plastic and wood.”
Sandoz has paid £120,932 to help fund two environmental projects carried out by the Surrey Wildlife Trust.
By not meeting the Producer Responsibility Regulations, Sandoz Ltd avoided paying costs of £93,024.79 (£14,562 in registration fees and £78,462.79 in packaging recovery notes).
Now, following correspondence from the Agency, Sandoz Ltd has “put in place provision to ensure that non-compliance does not happen again”. The business has joined the Valpak compliance scheme and the civil payment was on a reactive basis.
A statement from Sandoz is expected shortly.
Other companies to pay civil penalties over packaging legislation failures include the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Solihull, home to the RWM exhibition. The NEC has joined Valpak and paid £14,858 to the Canal & River Trust. This was on a proactive basis.