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GGI hit with £20,000 waste fine

Tuesday 30 March 2010

GGI, the office seating company, has been hit with a £20,000 bill for breaching packaging and recycling regulations.
GGI Office Furniture, of Global Way, Darwen, admitted six charges of falling foul of Environment Agency legislation around the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.
Hyndburn magistrates ordered them to pay £8,000 compensation, plus a £1,700 fine for each of the six offences, and almost £2,000 in costs.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said the firm had been ‘very co-operative’ with the prosecution, had admitted their ‘administration’ mistakes and pleaded guilty at court.
The spokesman explained any company, which has an annual turnover of more than £2m and handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging, must register with the Environment Agency to meet national recovery and recycling targets.
The regulations are to encourage companies to recycle and cut down on landfill waste.
A routine check by Environment Agency officials found GGI had not registered – and therefore not complied or obtained the certification – for 2006 and 2007.
There is less than one such prosecution a month in the north west and the most high profile case was Red Bull being fined a record £260,000 last July for similar breaches over an eight-year period.
Environment Agency North West’s Marianne Webb said: “Although these regulations have been in force since 1997 some businesses still remain unaware of their responsibilities. We hope this case will highlight the need for other businesses to consider whether they are obligated under the Packaging Regulations.”
Janette Begbie, environmental and health and safety manager for GGI, said: “It was an administrative error and when GGI realised the oversight, we implemented control systems to ensure future compliance and co-operated fully with the Environment Agency.
\"We have achieved environmental certification for our recycling capability and our environmental commitment.
“We’ve had that for three years now and something like this will not happen again.”

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