03:36PM, Tuesday 21 July 2020
A Windsor business which imports cookware and kitchen appliances has paid £12,000 to charity after failing to meet its recycling requirements.
Groupe SEB based at Riverside House failed to recover and recycle the weight of packaging it added to the UK waste stream in 2017 and a total of 1,183 tonnes of packaging waste may not have been diverted from landfill.
Any company which produces more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year with a turnover of above £2million must register with the Environment Agency or a packaging compliance scheme.
The company had previously been compliant but mistakenly believed it was registered when it moved from one compliance scheme to another.
For its enforcement undertaking, Groupe SEB offered £12,000 - more than double the calculated amount of avoided costs (£5,950.17).
Enforcement undertakings are a type of civil sanction that allow the Environment Agency to secure regulatory compliance from organisations. They also ensure businesses don’t profit from non-compliance and provide an opportunity for them to react responsibly to any offending.
The money was split equally between Thames Rivers Trust and The Marine Conservation Society to help pay for projects including litter picking and removal at London Rivers Week and The Great British Beach Clean.
Both of these are aimed at dealing with the impact of packaging waste on the environment and local communities.
Manna Wan a regulatory officer with the Environment Agency in Berkshire said: “While agreeing to enforcement undertakings, the Environment Agency continues to prosecute organisations and individuals where evidence shows high levels of culpability and serious environmental harm.”
Groupe SEB managing director Will Yates said: "Groupe SEB is committed to providing socially and environmentally responsible products.
"The historic and unique 2017 case came about as a direct result of the business changing compliance scheme providers from Biffa waste management to another compliancy provider.
"A lack of communication during the transfer meant neither provider registered Groupe SEB and the mishandling meant the business was in breach of Producer Responsibility Obligations."
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