Two businesses have been ordered to pay £136,000 in fines and costs following a case over the alleged illegal export of waste materials prosecuted by Natural Resource Wales (NRW).
The case which concluded at Caernarfon Crown Court in north west Wales this month (7 April) involved UPM Kymmene (UK) Ltd and Parry & Evans Ltd.
UPM Kymmene (UK) Ltd operates the Shotton newsprint mill as well as a large materials recycling facility. Parry & Evans is a Welshpool-based family group which has been recycling paper and cardboard for over five decades.
Last year it was announced that charges would be heard at Caernarfon court (see letsrecycle.com story)
The case was brought after NRW – which is Wales’ equivalent of the Environment Agency – had claimed that the two companies had breached rules relating to the shipment of mixed waste including plastics, metals, paper and cardboard to China. The charges relating to shipments were dropped last year.
According to NRW, the firms were prosecuted after an employee of Parry & Evans, which was carrying out work on behalf of UPM, had failed to apply for a permit in 2013 to handle waste paper. This was for a non-regulated site operated by Parry & Evans.
Parry and Evans had worked on a site at Deesside Industrial Park, without the necessary permit for several months, according to NRW. However, there was no suggestion of environmental damage as a result of either company’s actions, NRW added.
UPM was fined £28,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 in costs, whilst Parry & Evans was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 in costs.
Commenting following the conclusion of the case, Simon Walker, head of RCP UK for UPM said: “We are pleased to have finally concluded this case. UPM is committed to the highest responsibility standards and being fully compliant on all business regulations. This was a one-time incident and we have taken measures to prevent cases like this in the future.”
Mr David Travers QC, who appeared for the company, said: “UPM is a responsible company which takes its environmental and regulatory obligations very seriously. It was fairly said on behalf of Parry & Evans that the company committed an offence because it failed to spot an error made by one of its employees. UPM’s failing was even less culpable, it amounted to a failure to detect that Parry & Evans had failed to spot an error.”
Charges had also initially also been filed against Peter Dyer, former director of the paper brokerage company Failand Paper Services. Charges were brought against Mr Dyer, with regard to Failand, as the company had been placed into administration.
NRW said that Mr Dyer could not afford representation, so it was decided that it would not be in the public interest to pursue the case against him. And, the regulator said that charges against Stephen Evans, a director of Parry & Evans, would be withdrawn.
Speaking after the conclusion of the case, Mr Dyer said: “Proceedings against me were discontinued and therefore I was found not guilty and my reputation is not tainted by the case.”
A defence costs order was made in Mr Dyer’s favour.
Source: letsrecycle.com Waste Managment