A multinational biscuit producer has donated almost £40,000 to charity after failing to register for packaging compliance.
Bahlsen LLP, who import a number of recognisable biscuit products and other food items, should have reported their tonnages for packaging to the Environment Agency under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations from 1997 until 2012. These regulations are something all of our Comply Direct members are familiar with and Bahlsen LLP's case emphasises the consequences when not registered with a compliance scheme.
In this instance the Environment Agency stated that the company had an 'unfair financial advantage' against its competitors and caused it to lose revenue that would have been used for compliance monitoring and regulation.
Bahlsen LLP has offered an Enforcement Undertaking totaling £39,800 to the Wildlife Trust and Woodland Trust which exceeds the costs which it would have paid had it been originally registered in 1997.
Sanjiv Syal, Environment officer for the Environment Agency said Bahlsen LLP have submitted a proactive offer, which means the company voluntarily came to the Agency to report the breaches when the problem was identified.
He said: "This self-reporting means the company benefits from the deduction of the penalty which could have been applied had the investigation gone to court, and allows the financial recompense to go to good environmental causes."
He added: "The use of Civil Sanctions, where appropriate, can offer benefits to the environment and the wider world by using resources wisely and allowing the company to become compliant whilst still accepting financial responsibility for its breaches."
At Comply Direct we are keen to help businesses identify their obligation and would encourage any other companies who think they may be obligated under the packaging regulations to get in touch with the EA or a compliance scheme like Comply Direct before investigations identify non-compliance and charge a far larger penalty.
Between September 2014 and April 2015, business that failed to comply with the Packaging Waste Regulations paid more than £189,000 to charities in order to avoid legal action with the EA.
As a compliance scheme, it is our responsibility to help businesses determine their obligation. If you feel you may fall under the packaging regulations and could be obligated please get in touch and we can offer support or a free compliance review to help you determine your position and protect your business.