The London based soft drinks importer has been ordered to pay a record £271,800 after failing to meet recycling requirements.
Red Bull Company Ltd pleaded guilty to charges of failing to register as a packaging waste producer and failing to meet its recovery and recycling requirements every year between 1998 and 2006.
Under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 a business with an annual turnover in excess of £2million and which handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year must be registered with the Environment Agency or a compliance scheme. Obligated businesses must also provide evidence of payments for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.
The regulation makes companies responsible for the waste they produce, making them pay towards the cost of the recovery and recycling of the packaging used. The regulations reduce the amount of packaging produced and ending up in landfill. By not registering, over 8 years its estimated Red Bull saved around £180,000.
A spokewoman for the Agency added that the scale of the fines should act as "a huge deterrent" to those companies looking to lower their waste costs by using unlicensed waste management firms that attempt to undercut registered rivals.
"These fines show that the courts are taking environmental crimes increasingly seriously," she said. "If you breach the rules you will get caught and you will get hit with big fines and all the bad publicity that goes with that."
Environment officer Helen Pavlou said:
“While it is encouraging that the Red Bull Company Ltd came to us when they realised their mistake, it is disappointing that there are still companies that are not compliant with this important legislation more than a decade after it was passed.
“Money raised from compliance is invested in the recycling industry, so failure to comply by the Red Bull Company Ltd and other companies means that there is less investment in the recycling industry than there should be.”
Posted under Environmental Regulations and Legislation, Waste Management and Food and Drink on 4 August 2009