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Court issues first WEEE prosecution

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A Birmingham based hairdresser has become the first individual to be prosecuted under recently enforced Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations.

Earlier this year, Aston and Fincher Ltd pleaded guilty to 31 charges relating to failure to comply with packaging waste regulations and failing to register as a producer of electrical and electronic waste.

According to the Environment Agency (EA), the company avoided paying £445 plus unknown costs of financing the recovery and recycling of equipment for which they would have been responsible in 2008.

Aston and Fincher was fined £650 for each offence – totalling £20,150. It was also ordered to pay compensation of £7,135 to the EA for loss of registration fees, costs of £3,605.11 and a victim surcharge of £15.

“This is the first prosecution of a business for offences under both the Packaging regulations and the similar producer responsibility legislation for electrical equipment,” commented EA Officer Hannah Wooldridge after the case.

“It should send a strong message out to all companies who 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.”

EA investigations found Aston and Fincher had committed offences in each year from 2001 to 2008. The company also imported a range of electrical items into the UK, and failed to meet their obligations under the WEEE Regulations, introduced in 2007.

The regulations demand that companies who handle packaging as manufacturers, pack fillers, sellers, importers or leasing companies are registered each year and provide evidence that they have recycled packaging.

“While registering would have cost less than £11,000 for the years concerned, their appearance in court has cost them well over £30,000. This case demonstrates that flouting the law does not pay,” added Ms Wooldridge.


Written by Andrew Hodges

September 14, 2010 at 10:27 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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