Beer and wines importer and distributor Cobra Beer Ltd has been ordered to pay over £25,800 for failing to recover and recycle up to 1,030 tonnes of packaging waste.
The company, which produces Cobra Beer, pleaded guilty at Hendon Magistrates Court on Thursday to failing to register with the Environment Agency as a producer of packaging, and to failing to meet its requirements to recover and recycle packaging waste for three years between 2003 and 2005.
Under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, all businesses with an annual turnover in excess of £2m that handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year must be registered with the Environment Agency or a compliance scheme, which undertakes to fulfil the obligations of its members.
Each year obligated businesses must also provide evidence of payment for the recovery and recycling of a specified proportion of packaging waste, including wood, aluminium, steel, cardboard and plastic.
Cobra's breach of the regulations came to light when the Environment Agency wrote to the company requesting details of its packaging usage in June 2005. After realising its obligations, Cobra has since carried out a packaging audit, and registered with recycling company Valpak in March 2006.
Environment officer Sarah Dover said: "The money raised from compliance with this legislation goes directly to the recycling industry and the failure by this company to ensure they met their responsibilities means that there was less investment in the recycling industry than there should have been."