Organic baby food company HiPP UK Ltd, based in Reading, has paid almost £415,000 to 3 environmental charities to compensate for not meeting their obligations under the Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997- 2007.
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 HiPP UK Ltd were confronted with the environmental offences, they offered an enforcement undertaking of payment to 3 environmental charities 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
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.
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 offence/s.