Squaring the recycle – GOV.UK

Squaring the recycle – GOV.UK

A family-run business in Richmond-upon-Thames selling luxury perfumes broke the rules on recovering and recycling waste.

The Environment Agency found The Orange Square Company Ltd failed to register the packaging waste it produced over a 4-year period and didn’t pay any fees relating to it.

Companies with a turnover above £2 million, handling more than 50 tonnes of packaging in the previous calendar year, must register with an accredited compliance scheme, and recover and recycle packaging waste.

Orange Square missed more than £7,000 in payments to the scheme between 2017 and 2020. It has since given a similar amount to Surrey Wildlife Trust to improve habitats and make the area more resilient to the risk of wildfires.  

The Environment Agency dealt with the company’s failure to comply with the law through a civil sanction called an enforcement undertaking, instead of a prosecution. To qualify, offenders must improve practices to avoid similar breaches, while making a financial contribution to a relevant environmental project.

Tessa Bowering, a senior technical officer for the Environment Agency and who investigated Orange Square, said:

Enforcement undertakings ensure that those who commit offences stop offending, come into compliance and take steps to prevent a recurrence.

Offenders should be prepared to take responsibility for their actions and put things right, resulting in a direct benefit to the environment and local communities.

While agreeing to enforcement undertakings, the Environment Agency continues to prosecute organisations and individuals where evidence shows high levels of culpability and serious environmental harm.

The Orange Square Company Ltd, of Paradise Road, in Richmond-upon-Thames, paid £7,103.45 to Surrey Wildlife Trust for conservation projects. Orange Square now operates within packaging rules, which mean they are registered with an accredited recycling scheme, and have improved internal processes to stay within the law.    

The money will go towards improving Chobham Common wildlife through expanded habitats, as well as installing fire breaks to improve the common’s resilience to wildfires, which have decimated land in recent years.

Ground-nesting birds like the woodlark and nightjar and reptiles including the sand lizard will forage for food more easily on or close to bare ground opened up by removal of scrubland as part of the work.  

Projects to help species like the sand lizard will be funded by a civil sanction payment by The Orange Square Company Ltd, which broke environmental rules on managing waste. Photo: Jack Horton/Surrey Wildlife Trust

Orange Square also paid the Environment Agency’s costs of £2,780.94 for investigating the case, which came under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 (as amended).