Supermarket chain Costcutter has made a contribution of more than £650,000 to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) after failing to meet its packaging waste obligations.
Costcutter is among a number of businesses who have paid civil penalties rather than face possible legal action from January 2017 to August 2017.
The Environment Agency revealed today (29 September) that around £1.7 million was paid to charities under the civil penalties system since the start of the year. This total figure includes payments made under the packaging regime and over water regulation failures.
The highest sum given to charity under the packaging waste rules came from supermarket and convenience store company, Costcutter, which paid £650,752.48 to WRAP.
Costcutter made the contributions to compensate for failure to carry out its Producer Responsibility Obligations Regulations 2007, failing to register as a producer of packaging and “take reasonable steps to recover and recycle packaging waste”.
To remediate its offences the company has also registered with environmental compliance scheme, Valpak under producer responsibility laws, and Costcutter has registered with Environment Agency cost recovery.
A spokesperson from Costcutter said: “We unreservedly apologise for this breach of the packaging rules between 1997 and 2014 which was entirely unintentional. As one of the largest convenience store groups in the UK we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously.
“When the error was identified by the new Costcutter Supermarkets Group management in 2014, we voluntarily approached the Environment Agency and are pleased this matter is now resolved with the necessary funds having been provided for in previous financial years.”
Other companies to pay high civil penalties over packaging legislation failures included Steel Processing (Midlands), Ecover and Sofology.
Steel Processing made a £29,000 contribution to Forest of Mercia Community Interest Company, Ecover, which manufactures sustainable cleaning products, paid £22,022 to the Marine Conservation Society and £11,011 to the Canal & River Trust; and Sofology made a £26,001 contribution to Recycling Lives.
Each took proactive approaches to register with compliance schemes, Steel Processing choosing Veolia, Sofology selecting the Greenpack scheme and Ecover choosing Valpak.