Fine for non-compliance

Proving that failing to comply with packaging waste recycling regulations can be expensive, The Environment Agency has announced that Merisant UK has been fined £54,000 for failing to comply with its obligations between 2001-2006. In addition, the court awarded £5,154 to the Environment Agency in compensation for unpaid registration fees as well as costs of £3,094.21, bringing the total to £62,248.21.
The company sells low calorie sweeteners, imported from their manufacturing bases in Europe, to retailers and wholesalers in the UK, including Canderel – the calorie-free alternative to sugar. It was obligated under the regulations for the packaging they import as well as on the transit packaging around the products sold on to the retailers and wholesalers. Merisant handles a range of packaging, including: glass jars, plastic containers, shrink wrap, cardboard and wooden pallets. The shrink wrap and pallets form the transit packaging sold on to the supermarkets.
Under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, all businesses with an annual turnover in excess of £2 million that handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year must be registered with the Environment Agency or a recognised compliance scheme. Each year, obligated businesses must also provide evidence of payment for the recovery and recycling of a specified proportion of packaging waste, including wood, glass, aluminium, steel, cardboard and plastic.
The Regulations are designed to ensure companies assess the amount of packaging they use and, where possible, limit their consumption. For the packaging remaining, companies are expected to invest in the recycling industry.