Companies “unaware” of packaging law

Jo has slammed the Government’s failure to inform companies of packaging waste responsibilities as Red Bull and GHD face court fines.

Soft drinks company Red Bull was fined more than £270,000 in July for failing to meets its obligations under packaging laws aimed at reducing the amount of waste going into landfill. The Environment Agency estimated that the company had saved £180,000 by not meeting the obligations.

The company behind GHD hair care products was fined more than £9,600 in August for failing to meet the same obligations.

Both companies pleaded guilty to the charges, saying that they had been unaware of the legislation. Both companies reported it the Environment Agency when they realised their mistake. Packaging laws introduced in 1997 require large companies to register with a compliance scheme, to ensure that a specified amount of packaging is recovered or recycled each year.

Commenting, Jo said:

“Increasing recycling rates is vital to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and packaging regulations are an important way of doing that. While it’s right that these fines should be applied, how can we expect businesses to become compliant when they don’t even know these laws exist?

“If these big, high profile companies had no idea, how many other businesses must be out there who are unaware of their legal obligations?

“The Government simply must do more to make companies aware of packaging laws, or we will continue see cases where companies do not recycle enough because they don’t know it is a legal requirement.”

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