Berkmann fined under packaging waste regulations

27 July, 2007

Berkmann Wine Cellars has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay more than £8,000 costs for not recycling packaging waste for six years.

The north London-based wine merchant pleaded guilty at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on July 20

to failing to register with the Environment Agency as a producer of packaging.

The company was also charged

with not recovering and recycling 2,819 tonnes of packaging waste between 1999 and 2005.

Under updated packaging waste regulations, all businesses with an annual turnover of £2 million or more that handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year

must be registered with the Environment Agency or a compliance scheme.

In an interview under caution, Berkmann Wine Cellars deputy chairman Keith Clanan said that between 1998 and 2006 the company had an annual turnover of between £15.5 million and £41 million, and from 2000 to 2005 produced 16,500 tonnes of waste.

Environment Agency spokeswoman Sarah Dover said: "Whil e we are grateful to Berkmann Cellars

for their full co-operation, this case should serve as a warning to other companies that must take steps to ensure that their operations are fully compliant with the provisions of the packaging regulations."

Berkmann Wine Cellars chairman Joseph Berkmann is to stand down after 40 years in the role. The company has appointed former Sainsbury's wine director Allan Cheesman as non-executive chairman to help grow the business.

Berkmann, 76, will continue as a director of the company and remain chairman of parent company, Berkmann Holdings .

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