- Court hears how containers were found to be made of illegal household waste
- Droitwich recycling site used as a base before waste is transported to the ports of Felixstowe and Southampton
The Environment Agency successfully prosecuted a former company director for illegally exporting banned household waste including nappies, clothing, textiles, tin cans and electrical items from a site in Droitwich, in Worcestershire, to Indonesia in 2019.
At Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday August 10, 2022, Tianyong Wang, 43, of Welcombe Grove, Solihull, Warwickshire, was fined £1,200 and costs £10,000.
He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing in April 2022 to pushing his dissolved company Berry Polymer Limited to export the waste to Indonesia. Shipping documents describe the waste as plastic, which can be exported to Indonesia for recycling.
Howard McCann, prosecutor for the Environment Agency, told the court that between June 27 and July 5, 2019, Wang had his company export some 382 tons of household waste in 22 shipping containers from his site. from Droitwich via the ports of Felixstowe and Southampton. to Indonesia.
Among the waste were about 1,590 diapers or sanitary items, plus 1,338 electrical items and about 33,639 cans.
Other contaminants included numerous clothes, textiles and rags, unopened plastic bags, glass, wood, golf balls, toys, a used toilet brush and cartons of contaminated food and drink.
Mr McCann told the court that the defendant was the sole director of Berry Polymer Limited, a company dissolved on August 24, 2021, at the time of the infringement.
Wang had agreed to sell some 500 tonnes of waste plastic bottles to a broker for £270 a tonne. A purchase order confirmed the waste loading site to be “Berry Polymer Limited, 20 The Furlong Droitwich WR9 9AH”. Berry Polymer charged the broker £103,210.20 for 382.26 tonnes of ‘plastic bottles’.
The breach was discovered by Environment Agency officers who carried out initial inspections of some of the 22 containers at the ports of Southampton (17 containers) and Felixstowe (5) on July 4, 2019.
These inspections recorded significant evidence of contamination, flies and, in some containers, a smell of decaying rot.
The containers were deemed unfit for export at this stage and prevented from being re-shipped to Indonesia.
Five of the containers were taken to the Environment Agency’s inspection facility at Felixstowe for a full examination, one of the bales examined was so bad that an officer was physically ill.
In the end, all the containers were sent back to the Droitwich site for reprocessing.
When questioned, Wang, who was overseas at the time, said that the material supplied was not as described because his company’s usual bale inspection had not taken place or was below standard. standards.
At sentencing, District Judge Strongman said it was a “blunder” by Wang, which cost him his business and his reputation.
Sham Singh, lead investigator for the Environment Agency, said:
This lawsuit sends a strong message that we will investigate and, if necessary, prosecute anyone involved in the illegal export of waste.
Waste crime can have serious impacts on the environment and put communities at risk. It undermines legitimate business and the investment and economic growth that comes with it.
We back legitimate businesses and proactively support them by disrupting and stopping illegal waste exports.
If anyone suspects a business is doing something wrong, please contact the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
That Tianyong Wang, as director of Berry Polymer Limited (company number 11887373 – dissolved), by your consent, connivance or negligence, and pursuant to Regulation 55(1) of the Transboundary Shipments of Waste Regulations 2007, between June 27 and July 5, 2019, you caused this company to commit the waste transport offense referred to in Article 36(1)(b) of the European Waste Shipment Regulation 1013/2006, namely 22 containers of waste collected from households, which were destined for recovery in Indonesia, a country to which the OECD ruling does not apply, contrary to Regulation 23 of the 2007 Cross-Border Shipment of Waste Regulation.
The export of waste collected from households to non-OECD (Economic Development Organization) countries is prohibited by Article 36 of the Waste Shipment Regulations.
The offense of transporting waste to a non-OECD country in breach of the ban is created by Regulation 23 and the administrators’ offense by Regulation 55(1) of the TFS Regulations 2007. The offense is strictly liable.
A shipment of waste begins at the point of loading in the country of shipment and continues until the waste has been collected from the facility in the country of destination. This is why the export is not considered attempted, although the containers were prevented from leaving Felixstowe and Southampton.
For waste to be classified on the green list such as plastic waste, it must have been collected separately or properly sorted.
Properly sorted means that the sorting is sufficient to remove contaminants to the point where any remaining contamination is so low that it is minimal and does not prevent the waste from becoming green list waste.