We're Here to Assist!
In the past, any company obligated under the UK Packaging Waste Regulations that was found not to be complying with these regulations would have faced criminal prosecution. The introduction of civil sanction powers in January 2011 now means that there are more options available to Environment Agency enforcement officers for dealing with non-compliant companies.
The new civil sanction powers are currently only applicable to businesses based in England and Wales. You should also note that to be affected your business must have been non-compliant with the Packaging Waste Regulations after 06 April 2010 (for organisations based in England) and 15 July 2010 (for organisations based in Wales).
This is a positive change for obligated companies that have been non-compliant in the past and are concerned by the threat of prosecution, as this now won't necessarily be the outcome.
There are now three routes that the Environment Agency (EA) can choose to go down when dealing with non-compliant companies. These are as follows:
You can complete an Enforcement Undertaking (EU) Offer Form which can be submitted voluntarily to the EA. You should offer a sum of money and put forward a suitable environmental project which you agree to fund with this money. You will also need to demonstrate that you have put in place a number of internal systems / processes to ensure that you are now compliant with the Packaging Waste Regulations and will remain compliant in the future.
The EA will fine a non-compliant company based on the severity of the offence. This fine can be anything up to the maximum of £25,000. The fine is calculated based on a number of factors, which will include: the costs avoided through non-compliance + a deterrent factor + aggravating circumstances. For example, if the company contacted a compliance scheme in the past but failed to sign up to that scheme.
Criminal prosecution is still an option for the EA and may be used for the very worst offences.
If you are at risk of prosecution because of non-compliance, and you are not already a member of Valpak’s Packaging Compliance Scheme, we can help you to become compliant by registering you with the EA.
Registering with a packaging compliance scheme, such as ours, will work in your favour; therefore, you should not put off doing this.
We can also assist you with your Enforcement Undertaking by:
- checking and / or submiting your EU Offer Form to the EA on your behalf
- calculating the costs that you have avoided by not complying with the Packaging Waste Regulations
- sourcing and suggesting appropriate environmental projects for you to fund
- helping you to coordinate the funding of an environmental project
If you would like to find out more about how we can assist you, please contact us today!