Laura Sharman 30 September 2019

Biffa fined for £350,000 over contaminated China shipment

Biffa fined for £350,000 over contaminated China shipment image

Waste management firm Biffa has been fined £350,000 for trying to send contaminated household waste to China.

In June, the company was found guilty of breaching waste exports regulations between May and June 2015.

It has now been fined £350,000 and ordered to pay costs of £240,000 and a further £9,912 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The Environment Agency prevented seven 25-tonne containers from being sent to China after discovering they contained items such as soiled nappies, plastic bottles and electric cables even though they were marked as waste paper.

Malcolm Lythgo, head of waste at the Environment Agency, said: ‘We are pleased with the court’s decision. We want all producers and exporters of waste to be responsible and make sure they only export material that can be legally and safely exported for recycling overseas.

‘Illegal waste export blights the lives and environment of those overseas. We continue to treat illegal waste exports as a priority and will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those found to break the rules.’

A spokesperson for Biffa said: 'We strongly contested this case and have made an application for leave to appeal the verdict of June 20, 2019.

'Due to the lack of reprocessing capacity, the UK and Europe is reliant on the export market for recycled paper and cardboard. This case related to contamination levels in seven containers of mixed paper that were due for export to China over four years ago.

'At that time China was a core market for UK exported materials for recycled paper and cardboard, and Biffa was a key supplier to some of the largest, best-invested cardboard mills in China. These mills were all accredited by the EA as being of an equal or higher environmental standard as mills within the UK and Europe and all our materials were regularly inspected by customs in China and by a Chinese Inspectorate regime based in the UK prior to shipping.'

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Assistant Director Property

East Sussex County Council
Up to £86,000 (pay award pending)
Your track record of leading change will equip you to position Property Services as a true, collaborative partner delivering a... East Sussex
Recuriter: East Sussex County Council

Hylands Manager

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 10 - Starting at £43,836 per annum and rising to £48,309
This is a rare and exciting opportunity for an exceptional candidate to create and deliver a vision for Hylands House to ensure it can reach it’s f... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Assistant Traffic Management & Road Safety Engineer

North Yorkshire County Council
£22,021 to £26,999
We are looking for an Assistant Engineer to join our Traffic Engineering team. The Traffic Engineering Team forms part of... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Regulatory Lawyer Solicitor - Selby

Selby District Council
£32,029 to £42,683 pro rata.
We are looking for a Solicitor/Barrister who can join our supportive team to provide legal support to Selby District Council and... Selby, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: Selby District Council

Trainee Solicitor

North Yorkshire County Council
£22,021 to £24,313
To be successful you must... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue