The company has also paid £28,538 as a Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act, according to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
Walter Black Foods of Drumhead Road, Cambuslang Investment Park, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to failing to register in accordance with the regulations, failing to take reasonable steps to recover and recycle packaging waste and failing to provide a certificate of compliance in respect of recovery and recycling obligations.
The matter was investigated by SEPA and reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations are intended to prevent or reduce the impact of packaging and packaging waste on the environment by encouraging minimisation and reuse, and by setting recovery and recycling targets. The directive, which the regulations implemented, aims to increase the amount of packaging waste that is recovered and recycled rather than being disposed of as waste to landfill.
In October 2013 SEPA discovered that Walter Black Foods had been de-registered from the compliance scheme they had been a member of. The regulations state that if a company’s membership of a scheme is discontinued, an application for registration must be made to the appropriate Agency (in this case SEPA) within 28 days. No such application had been received by SEPA.
Despite warning letters from SEPA, the company did not make suitable arrangements. As a result it was not registered for 2013 and did not complete the requirements listed above.
Bernard Gaffney, SEPA’s investigating officer, said: “Walter Black Foods Limited has been registered as a producer since 2004, so should have been well aware what their responsibilities were. In addition, when the scheme de-registered them they were sent a letter explaining that they should contact SEPA, but never did.
“Producers obligated under the regulations are responsible for meeting the UK business targets, through funding the recovery/recycling of their share of packaging placed onto the UK market. If producers don’t register, the amount of packaging which counts towards meeting the UK business targets decreases, but the tonnage of packaging flowing into the UK waste stream is the same. As a result registered producers have their share of responsibility inflated and may have to pay for the recycling/recovery of additional tonnages to cover any shortfall left by those who fail to register.”
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