Porsche fined over packaging waste

Car manufacturer Porsche Cars Great Britain Ltd has been ordered to pay more than £27,000 for failing to comply with packaging-waste regulations.

The company, which has its UK headquarters in Reading, pleaded guilty to failing to register with the Environment Agency as a producer of packaging and failing to meet its requirements to recover and recycle packaging waste between 2001 and 2003.

Reading Magistrates fined the company £25,000 and ordered it to pay £2,176 costs.

Porsche GB was prosecuted under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997, which state that companies with an annual turnover in excess of £2M, and which produce more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year, including wood, cardboard and plastic, must be registered with the Environment Agency or a compliance scheme.

Companies must also provide evidence of payment for the recovery and recycling of a specified proportion of packaging waste each year.

Businesses throughout the packaging life-cycle, from producers of the raw materials used to make packaging to sellers of goods, all have a legal

obligation to minimise its environmental impact.

This is to encourage the reduction, recovery and recycling of packaging and to ensure that, year on year, less packaging goes into landfill.

Porsche GB said it did not intentionally ignore the regulations, but said the introduction of the legislation had been overlooked and misunderstood. The company said it had taken verbal advice from its parent company based in Germany, which implied that Porsche GB was below the limits for regulation.

The regulations were put in place in 1997 as a result of an EU directive, which would have been interpreted and implemented by each member state. Germany may have interpreted and implemented the directive differently to the UK, possibly making any advice received from Germany flawed. But the court said that Porsche GB could not rely on historical advice given by its overseas parent company, and that it must ensure that it complies with UK legislation.

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