Source: UK Government
Enforcement Undertaking used to address breach of environmental legislation
Donation paid to wildlife trust for failure to meet packaging recycling obligations
Caswick is now complying with the regulations and has made a payment of £7,450 to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, towards its Crowle Nature Reserve and Epworth Nature Reserve projects for its past failure to meet its packaging recycling obligations.
The payment is part of an EU offered by the company for its failure to register as a packaging producer and take steps to recover and recycle its packaging waste under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007. The company failed to comply with the regulations in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Caswick specialises in the manufacturing of access and sealing products for the drainage and construction industries such as water companies, private developers and highway agencies. Their products include manhole step ladders, manhole entry points and sealant strips.
Jake Richardson, Senior Technical Officer for the Environment Agency, said:
Caswick has acknowledged that by failing to comply with the regulations they avoided paying the Environment Agency’s annual registration fees, and they did not fund the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.
Enforcement Undertakings enable businesses to address non-compliance under the Packaging Regulations, through a series of actions that ensure future compliance, and a financial contribution to a suitable environmental project.
The aim of the Packaging Regulations is to reduce the amount of packaging waste that enters our landfill sites by requiring obligated businesses (producers) to contribute financially towards the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.
The Environment Agency is increasingly using this method of enforcement for cases to restore or enhance the environment, improve practices of the offending business and ensure future compliance with environmental requirements. However, we will continue to pursue prosecution where appropriate.
Paul Learoyd, Chief Executive of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, said:
The donation by Caswick Ltd has been used at our Crowle and Epworth Turbary nature reserves to undertake essential management works.
Both nature reserves contain lowland peat bog habitat which is incredibly rare in the UK. These habitats need to be kept wet and free of woodland cover and so the work has included scrub control and the creation of structures that help hold the water back on site.
Please report any environmental issues to the Environment Agency’s 24 hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.
The company has also paid the Environment Agency’s administration, investigation and legal costs.
Notes to editors
The regulation/s the company did not meet:
In the years 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019: Regulation 40(1)(a) – a failure to register under the Producer of Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007. Producer fails to register. In 2013 and 2016, Caswick Ltd did not meet the regulatory thresholds, so was not required to register.
In the years 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019: Regulation 40(1)(b) – a failure to recover/recycle under the Producer of Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007.
If a business or organisation produces or uses packaging, or sells packaged goods, they may be classed as an obligated packaging producer.
Companies are an ‘obligated’ packaging producer’ if they (or the group of companies they are part of) meet both of the following criteria:
handled 50 tonnes of packaging materials or packaging in the previous calendar year
have a turnover of more than £2 million a year (based on the last financial year’s accounts)
What is an Enforcement Undertaking?
An Enforcement Undertaking is available to the Environment Agency (EA) as an alternative sanction to prosecution or monetary penalty for dealing with certain environmental offences. It is a legally-binding voluntary agreement proposed by a business (or an individual) when the EA has reasonable grounds to suspect that an environmental offence has occurred. Enforcement Undertakings for environmental offences were introduced under the Environmental Civil Sanctions (England) Order 2010 and the Environmental Civil Sanctions (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2010.
Accepting an Enforcement Undertaking is always at the discretion of the EA but if accepted enables firms and individuals who have damaged the environment or operated outside of legislative requirements to offer to complete actions which will address the cause and effect of their offending, including making a payment to an appropriate environmental project.
EUs can be offered for offences including polluting rivers, breaching permit conditions designed to protect communities, or failing to register and comply with recycling/recovery obligations. The Environment Agency then carefully considers whether the actions offered by the offender are acceptable.
Why use Enforcement Undertakings?
Businesses will voluntarily secure compliance now and in the future, without attracting a criminal record.
The environment, local community and those directly impacted by the offending can benefit through actions being offered in an EU.
They allow the EA to deal with the less intentional and polluting offending in a more proportionate way than prosecution through the criminal courts.
The Environment Agency reserves the right to prosecute, where offenders fail to comply with the terms of an enforcement undertaking offer.