Red Bull runs afoul of U.K. recycling laws

Red Bull runs afoul of U.K. recycling laws

Red Bull Ltd. realized it was violating the U.K.’s packaging and recycling laws in 2007.
The company notified the U.K.’s Environment Agency and corrected its violations, but still received a hefty fine this week. Red Bull is now a top  recycling offender with its guilty plea Monday to 16 counts of failing to recover and recycle tonnes of packaging waste over eight years.

The company must pay a record £271,800 (US$453,868) in fines and fees for failing to register with the U.K.’s Environment Agency as a packaging waste producer and not meeting its waste recovery and recycling requirements between 1999 and 2006.

U.K. businesses that handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging and annual turnover of more than £2 million (US$3.3 million) must register and pay for recycling and recovery of the packaging garbage to reduce landfill waste, according to the Environment Agency.

“While it is encouraging that the Red Bull Company Ltd came to us when they realized their mistake, it is disappointing that there are still companies that are not compliant with this important legislation more than a decade after it was passed,” Environment Officer Helen Pavlou said in a statement Monday.

“Money raised from compliance is invested in the recycling industry, so failure to comply by the Red Bull Company Ltd and other companies means that there is less investment in the recycling industry than there should be.”

The agency estimates Red Bull saved more than £180,000 (US$300,693) for not registering under the program, which was enacted in 2007.

The agency said Thursday the fine is part of a growing wave of tougher penalties doled out for “serious waste crimes.” The watchdog handed out £3 million (US$5 million) in fines last year for 454 cases. The offenses ranged from illegally exporting waste abroad to storing waste without a license. It created a National Environmental Crime Team of 20 former forensics experts, detectives and intelligence officers to target organized waste crime.