Stricter sentencing guidelines for environmental offenders

The Sentencing Council has released new guidelines advising judges to hand out harsher sentences for individuals and companies convicted of environmental crimes. The guidelines will come into force on 1 July 2014.

Tougher Sentences for Environmental Crimes

The new guidelines do not represent a change in the law. However, they do mean those that are convicted are now more likely to be dealt a tougher sentence. This should encourage them to think again before doing so in the future.

Different Sentencing Categories

A number of categories are specified which reflect increasing degrees of seriousness. Companies that knowingly break the law will face much stiffer penalties than those who do so in spite of taking all appropriate due diligence. The harshest fines of up to £3,000,000 are recommended for large businesses that knowingly contravene the law. Individuals convicted of offences knowingly committed could face jail terms of up to three years.

Highest Category for Hazardous Chemicals

The highest offence category is applied to hazardous chemicals. Given that waste fluorescent lamps are classified as hazardous, this means that all those collecting or transporting waste lamps should double check that they are following legal requirements. More importantly, the risks to any individuals or companies who knowingly fly tip or dispose of waste lamps inappropriately are now much higher.

Guidelines a Positive Development for Environmental Sector

We provide all our waste lamp collection points with guidelines to help ensure compliance with the law.

This should be seen as a positive development for the environmental sector. Hopefully it will encourage greater compliance with environmental legislation.

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