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Don’t get Caught Out! Penalties do exist under Producer Responsibility Legislation

Don’t get Caught Out! Penalties do exist under Producer Responsibility Legislation
by Emma Mundy at 15:45 in Battery, Packaging, WEEE

Are you aware of the penalties in place for non-compliance with producer responsibility legislation not just in the UK but across the EU?

The Environment Agency today published information regarding Babz Media Ltd, who have been ordered to pay £45,500 in fines and £8,724.98 in costs for non-compliance with packaging, WEEE and batteries legislation. A first in the UK.

Many companies have been fined for non-compliance with the packaging waste regulations, the most notable fine being Red Bull in 2009 when they were fined a record £270K for being in breach of the packaging waste regulations. These regulations derive from the EU Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste 94/62/EC (as amended) and all countries have transposed the directive slightly differently.

Are you aware of your producer responsibility obligations?

If you manufacture, distribute, produce, import, distance sell, essentially place on the market any packaged products, electrical items and batteries (whether separately or integrated into equipment) into any EU country, and certain European countries, then you will likely have producer responsibility obligations.

Obligated producers must often join a compliance scheme in each country that they sell into to offset the costs of recycling these products and to ensure that recovery and recycling targets are met. Some countries will allow producers to comply on an individual basis however joining a compliance scheme is often the preferred option. Producers must submit placed on the market data during a selected time frame and pay material specific fees based on this data.

Unlike the UK a lot of EU countries do not publish environmental fines in the press but all relevant country legislation details the fines/prosecutions that are in place for breach of producer responsibility regulations. For example, under the German Packaging Ordinance (VerpakV) companies found to be non-compliant can be fined up to €50,000 per infraction.

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