Other Technical Articles

Technical Articles

Home >> Technical Articles >> Shoe firm blasts information on pack waste regs after £25k fine
Shoe firm blasts information on pack waste regs after £25k fine
Time: 2009-09-12
By Simeon Goldstein
The Environment Agency has been criticised for failing to raise awareness of packaging waste regulations for the second time in less than a month.
 
Pavers Shoes, a York-based chain of shoe stores, was fined more than £25,000 for not complying with the Producer Responsibility Requirements (Packaging Waste) Obligations between 2003 and 2007.
 
But managing director Stuart Paver said he was "angry to be made an example of", when there were other firms that had not complied. He added the firm's reason for non-compliance was that it had not been aware that the regulations existed.
 
"We learned of the regulations quite by chance at a conference in March 2008, which prompted us to immediately register with the green network regarding our 2007 obligations," he said.
 
Paver's criticism comes three weeks after Welsh stone tile supplier Mandarin Slate hit back at a £10,500 fine and said the environment would be best served by a mass campaign to make businesses aware of the need to recover and recycle packaging waste.
 
Paver echoed Mandarin and called on the EA to do more to raise awareness of the regulations. "It would be simple for the agency to notify all companies whose turnover exceeds £2m through a simple targeted mail campaign of regulations and requirements," he said.
 
"We've recycled our cardboard and paper for decades. But as we were unaware of the regulations, this situation has occurred due to us not filling in the correct forms to prove it."
 
In an exclusive interview with Packaging News, EA policy advisor Adrian Harding said there was a lot of information available online and the organisation worked with trade bodies to raise awareness:
 
"The regulations shouldn't be a surprise as there are plenty of compliance schemes putting out advertising material," he said. "Prosecutions are reassuring to those firms that do register as it ensure a level playing field."
 
Under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, all businesses with an annual turnover in excess of £2m and which handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging per annum must be registered with the EA or a recognised compliance scheme.
 
Pavers was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £4,204 to cover unpaid registration fees and costs of £1,615.70.
 
Last month, energy drinks firm Red Bull was hit with the biggest-ever fine under the packaging waste regulations of £271,800. Click here for the full story.