Record fine over packaging regulations

08 February, 2007

Western Wines has been handed a record

£225,000 fine for failing to pay for the recovery and recycling of packaging over a three-year period.

The fine - the highest

so far for packaging offences - was handed out at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Jan 22, after the company was found guilty

of nine charges relating to Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations.

Under the regulations, any company

us ing at least 50 tonnes of packaging each year to sell their products must contribute towards UK recycling.

The court heard from the Environment Agency that the company, since being bought by Constellation Europe, had not been registered

between 2003 and 2005 and as a result had avoided registration fees of £2,486 and recovery and recycling costs of £185,059.

Western Wines also had to pay costs of more than £3,000 and £2,486 compensation to the Environment Agency. In mitigation, the company said it had co operated fully with the agency and was now fully compliant with the law.

David Hudson, environment manager for the agency, said: "Businesses should take steps to ensure they understand all aspects and requirements of the packaging regulations. This case highlights that we will not hesitate to take action against those who breach the legislation."

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