Cosmetics firm pays biggest civil penalty

27th January 2014

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Retail and wholesale ,
  • Waste ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Environment agencies


Joanna Kimber

Lancashire-based GR & MM Blackledge has paid £191,100 to a local wildlife charity in the largest civil sanction payment agreed so far with the Environment Agency

The cosmetics and toiletries retailer proposed the record donation to the Lancashire Wildlife Trust as part of an enforcement undertaking after being found in breach of the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007.

Enforcement undertakings (EUs) are an alternative to criminal prosecution for some environment offences, and are formal offers to make amends for the offence and any resulting impact on the environment.

The regulator has now published the details of the 17 EUs it agreed with companies between 1 May and 31 October 2013, revealing that the civil sanctions resulted in more than £460,000 being donated to wildlife charities in reparation for environmental offences.

The bulk of EUs, 11 of 17, were accepted for breaches of producer responsibility rules for packaging, similar to the offences committed by GR & MM Blackledge.

Other large settlements agreed include a £64,489 donation to the Hertforshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust by textiles importer Focus International, and a £52,000 payment to The Woodland Trust by Batt Cables, which describes itself as the UK's leading cable supplier and distributer.

High street retailers Kurt Geiger and tReds also agreed EUs with the agency for packaging offences, paying out £20,000 and £8,599 respectively to wildlife groups.

The agency also accepted two EUs for offences relating to the international shipment of waste, and two relating to water pollution, under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

Meanwhile, Veolia ES Cleanaway, a subsidiary of waste services giant, agreed to donate £14,800 to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and to improve the training of its staff, following a breach of the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005.

Transform articles

Regulator publishes new code to tackle 'greenwashing'

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a new 'Green Claims Code' to ensure businesses are not misleading consumers about their environmental credentials.

22nd September 2021

Read more

The UK government must develop regulation to stop the financial sector from providing billions of pounds to companies that threaten rainforests worldwide, WWF has said.

10th September 2021

Read more

Over two million hectares of Brazilian rainforest could be legally converted to supply the UK with soy under a new anti-deforestation law proposed by the government, the WWF has found.

26th August 2021

Read more

The Better Business Act would put responsibility to society and the environment on the same footing as responsibility to shareholders, explains Chris Turner

30th July 2021

Read more

In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

30th July 2021

Read more

Thames Water has been fined £4m after untreated sewage escaped from sewers below London into a park and a river.

30th July 2021

Read more

In R. (on the application of Hudson) v Windsor and Maidenhead RBC, the appellant appealed against a decision to uphold the local authority’s grant of planning permission for the construction of a holiday village at the Legoland Windsor Resort.

28th May 2021

Read more

Are voluntary commitments enough to make the private sector act on waste? David Burrows explores the issues

28th May 2021

Read more

Government announcements on infrastructure reveal a direction of travel but key details are still unknown, says Huw Morris

29th January 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert