Enforcement undertakings top £235,000

More than £236,000 was donated to charity in enforcement undertakings by companies who had breached packaging waste regulations between 23 May and 30 November 2019.

The Environment Agency reported in December that during this period a total of £236,201.82 was paid by those who breached the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations of 2007.

The Environment Agency says it cannot influence who receives the money or direct how it is spent

Concerns have been expressed from some within the industry that money paid for recycling breaches goes to charities which, while good causes, are not relevant to recycling.

An Agency spokesperson told letsrecycle.com: “With enforcement undertakings, the onus is on the company or individual to identify an appropriate recipient and environmental project for any payment they choose to make as part of their offer.

“Payments to third parties where the breach does not have a direct impact on the environment, such as the packaging waste producer responsibility regime, must protect, restore or enhance England’s natural capital.

“As the regulator, we cannot influence who receives the money or direct how it is spent, as this is a matter for the individual or company.

“However, a number of offers we have accepted to date have included payments to charities and other organisations to help tackle and increase awareness amongst schoolchildren and others of the impact packaging waste has on our environment.”

By comparison, the Agency revealed £321,831.17 was paid to charities in enforcement undertakings between 20 October 2018 and 22 May 2019 following packaging waste offences.

Undertakings

Any company handling over 50 tonnes of packaging waste and with a turnover of more than £2 million has obligations under The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007.

“The onus is on the company or individual to identify an appropriate recipient and environmental project”

Environment Agency

Those who do not uphold these obligations face possible court action.

The undertakings scheme allows businesses to avoid possible court action and instead make voluntary donations if they have breached, or appear likely to have breached, environmental regulations.

These donations go to various charities chosen by those who do not uphold the obligations.

The Agency’s approach to accepting enforcement undertakings can be found on its website here.

Packaging waste

A number of companies made contributions to charity after failing to register under the UK’s PRN system and failing to take “reasonable steps” to recover and recycle packaging waste.

Some of the money donated by Kennelpak will go towards Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Attenborough Nature Reserve Project

The largest contribution was made by pet food supplier Kennelpak Ltd, who donated £70,018.67 to Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Erewash Canal Preservation and Development Association.

Erin McDaid, head of communications and marketing at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, said: “The contribution from Kennelpak Ltd provided an unexpected but very welcome boost to our fundraising and will help support habitat management and restoration, such as coppicing trees, and our work to ensure that the reserve is accessible and welcoming, such as maintaining and clearing paths.”

Contributions

Vehicle parts trader German Swedish & French Car Parts Limited contributed £61,966 to Sea Life Trust Limited, chemicals distributor Blagden Specialty Chemicals Limited contributed £36,500 to Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside and manufacturer Unique Party contributed £17,373.32 to the Woodland Trust.

Keep Britain Tidy will benefit from The Classic Printed Bag Company’s donation

More than £14,000 was contributed to Keep Britain Tidy by The Classic Printed Bag Company Limited, £13,885.94 was contributed to the Eden Rivers Trust by Calder Foods (Manufacturing) Limited and £7,669.64 was contributed to the Marine Conservation Society by Muc-Off Limited.

As part of the undertakings each company also agreed to register with a compliance scheme.

Environmental permitting

Enforcement undertakings were also paid by several companies for breaching regulations relating to the Environmental Permitting Regulations of 2016.

Andigestion Limited contributed £20,000 to the Westcountry Rivers Trust

For failing to comply with a permit condition relating to waste operations, saw mill A W Jenkinson Forest Products contributed £30,000 to the Eden Rivers Trust,according to an Agency release.

The release added that around £60,000 was contributed by waste management company Biffa Waste Services Limited to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust for failing to comply with a permit condition regarding installation.

Food waste digestion company Andigestion Limited contributed £20,000 to the Westcountry Rivers Trust, £10,000 to the North Devon Biosphere Foundation and £20,000 to the Devon Wildlife Trust for operating without or other than in accordance with a permit when undertaking a water discharge activity.

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