A company based in Swindon that sells kitchens, sofas and a wide range of other furnishings will pay money to a wildlife charity for failing to register as a packaging producer.
The Environment Agency took enforcement action because for 13 years, from 2004 until 2017, Neptune (Europe) Ltd failed to recycle enough waste packaging including cardboard, plastic, paint tins and wooden pallets.
Any company producing more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year with a turnover of above £2 million, must register with the Environment Agency or a packaging compliance scheme, and meet their responsibilities for recycling waste packaging.
Neptune (Europe) Ltd, of Blagrave in Swindon, is a furniture importer, seller and wholesaler. They sell everything from kitchens to bathrooms as well as household accessories.
Tessa Bowering, a senior technical officer for the Environment Agency, said:
We all need to do our bit for the environment. Neptune (Europe) Ltd should have met its recycling obligations, which it failed to do for a prolonged period of time. However, the company cooperated with the Environment Agency to address the offences it had committed and is now compliant with the regulations.
They will pay £17, 350 to the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, who will use the money for 4 projects; Ravensroost Wood Nature Reserve, Malmesbury, Clouts Wood Nature Reserve, Wroughton, Cloatley Meadows Nature Reserve, Malmesbury and The Firs Nature Reserve, Royal Wootton Bassett. All of these projects will protect, restore and enhance the natural environment.
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Director Dr Gary Mantle MBE said:
Our nature reserves play an important part in raising awareness about the value of the natural world. We are looking forward to using this contribution to the trust to help us deliver some great projects that benefit wildlife and people.
Enforcement undertakings allow companies and individuals to make amends for breaching environmental regulations, including through a financial contribution to a local project.
In agreeing to this type of civil sanction, the Environment Agency must be satisfied the offender will make changes to its operations to prevent future breaches of packaging legislation.
The Environment Agency continues to prosecute organisations and individuals where evidence shows high levels of culpability and serious environmental harm.
The company was sanctioned under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007.