Waste offences cost Young’s brewery £30k

A major London brewer has been ordered to pay over £30,000 in fines and compensation after falling afoul of the Environment Agency.

Young & Co Brewery Plc was fined £27,000 and ordered to pay the agency £3,751 for court costs and registration fees after it failed to buy in the correct number of Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs).

The Wandsworth based brewer had dodged an estimated £20,800 by not registering for and purchasing enough PRNs.

It had been compliant in previous years but had let its registration slip in 2007.

When the company became aware of the situation, it informed the Environment Agency of its oversight.

Under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, companies who have an annual turnover in excess of £2 million and handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging per annum must register with the Environment Agency or a compliance scheme.

Each year, the company must also provide evidence of payment for recovery and recycling of a specified proportion of their packaging.

The types of packaging covered by this legislation are wood, aluminium, steel, cardboard and plastic.

The regulations are designed to make companies assess the amount of packaging they handle and, where possible, limit its use.

The money raised from this legislation is directly invested in the recycling industry.

Many organisations remain unaware of their responsibilities despite details being available in trade journals, through trade organisations and online.

The Environment Agency found out that Young’s was not registered with a compliance scheme in January 2009.

The company contacted the Environment Agency’s waste industry regulation services team as they had realised that they had not registered as a producer under the Regulations since the 2006 registration year due to an oversight and wanted to make late registrations.

The company was advised that they should register for the 2009 year but that it was too late to register for the years 2007 and 2008.

Elaine Cory, investigating officer for the Environment Agency said: “Although Young’s had previously registered and complied with the regulations, this case serves as a reminder to companies obligated under the packaging regulations to ensure that they remain compliant with the regulations.

“The money the company has saved by not registering and purchasing Packaging Recovery Notes would have directly supported the recycling industry.”

Sam Bond

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