Local Authorities increase waste enforcement

Date released: Dec 20 2005

Commenting on two recent successful prosecutions taken by local authorities against non-compliant producers of packaging waste for failure to comply with the Packaging Waste Regulations, Dara Lynott, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environment Enforcement said, “I welcome the increased enforcement effort being undertaken by local authorities and the fact that cases are now appearing before the courts’.

The prosecutions were taken by Fingal County Council against BR Marketing of Rosemount Business Park, Dublin and by Louth County Council against New Era Packaging Ltd, Drogheda Industrial Estate, Drogheda, Co Louth.

The Packaging Regulations oblige business and commercial organisations that place packaging on the market to aid its recovery and recycling.  The EPA’s Environmental Enforcement Network has helped local authorities to identify and take action against non-compliant major producers of packaging waste, which is now leading to an increase in the number of prosecutions being taken against companies not in compliance with the Regulations.  

As a result of a focused campaign by the Enforcement network, some 60 enforcement officers from 34 local authorities have identified 280 major producers in the last eighteen months.  These major producers are required either to join REPAK or register with the local authority as a self-complier.   Of these:

  • 138 are now REPAK members;
  • 40 are planning to join the REPAK compliance scheme;
  • 39 have registered as self-compliers with local authorities;
  • 26 major producers are planning to register with the local authorities;
  • the remaining 37 are to be brought into compliance with the Regulations.

Dara Lynott said, “The key to the success of the campaign has been good intelligence gathered in over 6,000 inspections over the last 18 months. This information continues to be compiled by the Enforcement Network from a variety of sources including commercially available directories of businesses, local authority internal sources and complaints from compliant organisations in relation to their non-compliant competitors.”

Louth County Council successfully prosecuted New Era Packaging Ltd. of Drogheda Industrial Estate, Drogheda, Co Louth for non-compliance with the Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations, 2003. This company was initially in court on 21st October 2005, but the case was adjourned until 16th December 2005 at the request of New Era Packaging Ltd. During this time the company finalized their membership of Repak. Upon hearing an outline of the facts, at Drogheda District Court, Judge Brennan convicted the Defendant and imposed fines and costs totalling €1,440.

Fingal County Council successfully prosecuted BR Marketing of Rosemount Business Park for failure to comply with the Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations on 15th November.  Although BR Marketing have been fully compliant since 8th November 2005 the judge fined the company €3,000 and awarded the Council costs of €1,564.89.  The judge pointed out that the Council Officials were not there” for the fun of it” when passing sentence. Fingal County Council anticipate bringing three further cases before the courts in the short term.