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Softcat and La-Z-Boy slapped with civil sanctions for recycling laziness

Published 10/11/2022, 07:13
Updated 10/11/2022, 08:41
© Reuters.  Softcat and La-Z-Boy slapped with civil sanctions for recycling laziness
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Softcat PLC (LSE:SCT) has agreed to pay a penalty to an environmental charity after the Environment Agency found it had failed to comply with recycling laws for more than a decade.

The FTSE 250-listed IT services provider, based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, pledged £35,803.99 to the National Trust's Langham Pond wetland boardwalk project and will now register with a compliance scheme, implement a new written procedure, assign a responsible person and cover the Environment Agency’s costs.

From 2007 until 2020 it had neither registered with the Environment Agency nor taken reasonable steps to recover and recycle packaging waste, contravening regulations.

The Environment Agency also flagged enforcement action leads and civil sanctions for two other companies: alcoholic drinks giant Sazerac UK, based in Hampton Wick, and furniture name La-Z-Boy (NYSE:LZB) UK Limited, based in Maidenhead.

Sazerac will contribute £45,089 to Surrey Wildlife Trust after failure to comply from 2017 to 2019, while La-Z-Boy UK will give £5,737 to Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, due to non-compliance in 2020.

All three companies recognised that they had failed to comply with the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007, which ensure that businesses fund the recycling of the packaging waste that they place on the UK market.

"By failing to register with a compliance scheme and to take reasonable steps to recover and recycle packaging waste, the businesses also avoided paying a charge based on how much packaging they got through in the same period," the Environment Agency said.

Senior technical officer Jake Richardson at the agency said: "Any company handling more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year, and with a turnover of above £2mln, must register with the Environment Agency or a packaging compliance scheme, and meet their responsibilities for recycling waste packaging.

"If companies fail to meet their obligations under environmental law, we will take action to ensure that they change their ways.

"The Environment Agency accepted proactive enforcement undertaking offers from all of the companies, a type of civil sanction which allows businesses to make amends while demonstrating how they will comply with the law in future."

Anyone who spots pollution should report it to the Environment Agency via its free 24-hour incident hotline: 0800 80 70 60.

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