Charities to receive £1.65m from EA enforcement actions

Enforcement undertakings accepted by the Environment Agency (EA) for breaches of environmental regulations have totalled £1.65 million for the past six months.

Enforcement undertakings are voluntary offers made by companies that have broken environmental laws to put right the effects of their offending and restore harm caused to the environment. As well as committing to rectify damage caused by their breaches, financial contributions are made to environmental charities.

The Tame Valley Wetlands in Warwickshire.
The Tame Valley Wetlands in Warwickshire.
In a list released last week (15 June) ,between 1 December 2019 and 31 May 2020 40 companies made donations to environmental charities as a result of breaching environmental regulations with payments ranging from between £1,500 to £250,000.

Yorkshire Water Services Limited and Severn Trent Water Limited were forced to make the biggest contributions, with offences committed at their various sewage treatment works totalling a combined £450,000 and £359,392 respectively.

Waste management company SUEZ recycling and recovery Southern Limited was also instructed to pay £100,000 – £55,000 to Surrey Wildlife Trust and £45,000 to Seale and Sands Parish Council – for failing to comply with a permit condition, as well as having to carry out leachate extraction and disposal.

Included in the total donated, 21 companies made donations totalling £320,000 to environmental charities as a result of having failed to fulfil their legal requirements under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2017.

All companies with a turnover of more than £2 million and that handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging per year must ensure a certain amount of their waste is recycled.

The largest donation has been made by high street retailer The Works Stores Limited, which will donate £35,868.12 to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust for failing to take reasonable steps to recycle or recover its packaging waste.

The full list of companies that have made payments is below:

  • The Works Stores Limited – £35,868 to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust;
  • Lechler Coatings Limited – £31,332 to Keep Britain Tidy;
  • World Brands Duty Free Limited – £26,037 to the Marine Conservation Society;
  • Pets Corner (UK) Limited – £25,641 to the Woodland Trust;
  • Ranson NV UK Limited – £25,575 to the Green Light Trust;
  • Edmo Limited – £23,645 to Herefordshire Wildlife Trust;
  • Pampurredpets Limited – £19,232 to the Woodland Trust;
  • Neptune (Europe) Limited – £17,350 to Wiltshire Wildlife Trust;
  • Fittleworth Medical Limited – £15,306 to Hubbub Foundation UK;
  • Fabriweld Tubular Steel Products Limited – £15,300 to Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust;
  • Groupe SEB UK Limited – £6,000 to Thames River Trust and £,6000 to Marine Conservation Society;
  • BDP Imports Limited – £9,657 to Trees for Cities;
  • EMC Computer Systems Limited – £8,759 to Trees for Cities;
  • Oliver Bonas Limited – £8,500 to Trees for Cities;
  • Flexicon Limited – £7,356 to Keep Britain Tidy;
  • Seasalt Limited – £5,700 to Surfers Against Sewage;
  • Kong Company Limited – £4,930 to the Species Recovery Trust;
  • Williams Trade Supplies Limited – £4,642 to Surfers Against Sewage;
  • Fruitful Office Limited – £3,374 to the Woodland Trust;
  • RTI Advanced Forming Limited – £2,578 to Marine Conservation Society; and
  • House of Vantage Limited – £2,550 to the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.

Charities set to receive a share of the total £1.65 million are involved in causes ranging from cleaning up marine pollution to tree planting and litter prevention.

A spokesperson for the EA said: “Enforcement undertakings allow businesses who fail to comply with legal requirements or pollute the environment to come into compliance or positively address and restore any harm caused to the environment and prevent repeat incidents.

“The EA is increasingly using this method of enforcement for less serious cases to restore and improve the environment, change behaviour and improve practices of the offender.

“Please report any environmental issues to the EA’s 24 hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

A spokesperson for the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust said: “The money [from The Works Stores Limited] is being used by the Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership to deliver a wide range of environmental activities.

“Primarily it will be used to deliver education sessions to primary school groups about the importance of rivers and wildlife based at the partnership’s Environment Centre at Hams Hall.
Some of the funding will also be used to deliver training sessions to groups in environmental conservation and to support the willow tit, one of the UK’s rapidly declining native birds.

“Funding will help the partnership’s volunteers Tameforce to undertake tree planting and other activities to improve the habitat for willow tit.”

You can view the full list of EA enforcement undertakings on the EA website.