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Porsche fined

Porsche has been fined after failing to pay for the recycling and recovery of packaging waste.

Porsche Cars Great Britain Ltd was ordered to pay more than £27,000 last week after pleading guilty to failing to register with the Environment Agency under the producer responsibility scheme.

Because of the amount of packaging the company deals with, it is classed as a packaging producer and by law must pay for its share of UK recycling targets for packaging waste.

The company failed to meet these requirements between 2001 and 2003, however, and Reading magistrates fined the company as a result, ordering to also pay £2,176 costs to the Environment Agency.

Porsche GB was prosecuted under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997, which state that companies with an annual turnover in excess of £2 million, and which produce more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year, including wood, cardboard and plastic, must be registered with the Environment Agency or a compliance scheme.

Companies must also provide evidence of payment for the recovery and recycling of a specified proportion of packaging waste each year.

Businesses throughout the packaging life-cycle, from producers of the raw materials used to make packaging to sellers of goods, all have a legal obligation to minimise its environmental impact.

This is to encourage the reduction, recovery and recycling of packaging and to ensure that year on year less packaging goes into landfill.

Porsche GB said it did not intentionally ignore the regulations, but said the introduction of the legislation had been overlooked and misunderstood. The company said it had taken verbal advice from its parent company based in Germany, which implied that Porsche GB was below the limits for regulation.

Based on information supplied by Porsche GB, it should have paid for the recovery and recycling of approximately 972 tonnes of packaging waste handled by the company over a six year period.

Not being properly registered between 1997 and 2003 is likely to have saved the company £6,050 in registration fees, while failing to recover and recycle packaging waste over the same period is estimated to have saved it £15,993.39.

The Environment Agency said it accepted that the offences are purely of a technical nature and that Porsche GB fully accepted and supported the principle of recovery and recycling.

#AM_ART_SPLIT# Sue Gebbels, for the Environment Agency, said: "This prosecution serves as a reminder to all businesses to ensure that compliance with environmental legislation is not overlooked.

"The money raised from compliance with this legislation goes directly to the recycling industry and the misunderstandings within Porsche that it has admitted today mean that there was less investment in the recycling industry over the past six years than there should have been.

"In particular, companies with foreign holdings should ensure they comply with the legislation relevant to the country they are operating in, and if in doubt they should always contact the relevant authority," she said.

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