Organic baby food firm hit with £415k fine for breaching recycling rules

by Search Gate staff. Published Fri 16 Oct 2015 12:23, Last updated: 2015-10-16
HiPP slapped with EA sanctions over packaging rules

Organic baby food company HiPP UK Ltd has agreed to pay almost £415,000 to three environmental charities to compensate for not meeting their obligations under the Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations.

This is the largest-value enforcement undertaking ever accepted by the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency found that the company had failed to register as a producer of packaging, and failed to meet its requirements to recover and recycle packaging waste between 2004 and 2011.

When Reading-based HiPP UK Ltd were confronted with the environmental offences, they offered an enforcement undertaking of payment of £414,960 plus payment of the Environment Agency’s costs, registered the company as a packaging producer and put in place provision to ensure that non-compliance does not happen again – all of which were accepted by the Environment Agency.

Heather White, Environment Officer said: “In any enforcement undertaking, the person or company should offer to restore or remediate the harm caused by the incident where that is possible. For producer responsibility offences this is done by making a financial contribution to a recognised environmental charity or project to achieve environmental benefit.

“The offender must also demonstrate they will change their behaviour and ensure future compliance with environmental legislation.”

HiPP UK Ltd offered to pay by 3 equal annual instalments (£138,320 per annum):

* £75,000 to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust

* £189,960 to the Woodland Trust

* £150,000 to the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust

Along with prosecutions, the Environment Agency use other sanctions including enforcement notices, stop notices and civil sanctions to either improve performance or stop sites from operating. It is making more use of the wide range of measures that are available to bring sites back into compliance as quickly as possible.

White added: “Civil sanctions such as these are a proportionate and cost-effective way for businesses to make amends for less serious environmental offences. Failure to comply with the enforcement undertaking may result in the person or company being prosecuted for the original offences.”

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