Aston and Fincher, a hairdresser supplier based in Birmingham has become the first company to be prosecuted under both the packaging regulations and electronics waste rules at the same time.
The company has been ordered to pay over £30,000 for failure to comply with packaging regulations and the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive.
In its defence the company stated that they did not know about the regulations and therefore did not realise that they were failing to comply.
The Environment Agency (EA) brought 31 charges against the company, which related to offences between 2001 and 2008. The EA stated that the company avoided paying £10,900 of costs by not signing up to the packaging regulations, and a further sum of £445 for its failure to sign up for WEEE.
Aston and Fincher were fined £650 for each offence – a total of £20,150 – and were ordered to pay £7,135 to the EA for loss of registration fees, costs of £3605.11 and a victim surcharge of £15.
Hannah Wooldridge, the EA officer leading in the investigation, said:
This should send a strong message out to all companies who do have producer responsibility obligations to ensure that they comply with the legal requirements placed on them.
These regulations do not set out to criminalise companies who don’t comply; they are about making all producers responsible for their impact on the environment, and helping them to reduce it wherever possible.