Heineken pays £160k for river pollution

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Heineken paid £160k for pollution that killed fish
Heineken paid £160k for pollution that killed fish

Related tags Environmentalism

Drinks producer Heineken has been ordered to pay £160,000 for breaching environmental laws enforced by the Environment Agency (EA), after a pollution incident killed fish.

The brewer was among 26 firms that paid a total of £1.5M to charities for breaches of the law. Six of the businesses were ordered to pay six-figure sums, including food producer Filippo Foods and ingredients manufacturer Kerry Ingredients.

See the box below for a full list of companies ordered to pay more than £100,000.

The companies had broken environmental laws – either by polluting rivers, breaching permit conditions designed to protect communities or avoiding recycling.

Accepted liability

The EA said the firms had made a suitable payment to an appropriate environmental charity and accepted liability, demonstrated restoration of harm and invested to reduce the risk of similar breaches occurring in future.

A Heineken spokesman said it was supporting two local charities: The Wye & Usk Foundation and Bugs and Beasties.

“Our support has come as part of an agreed settlement with the Environment Agency, relating to an isolated incident that occurred in early 2014,” ​said the spokesman.

“Regrettably, a contractor working on our site failed to dispose of waste material in the correct manner. This was a clear breach of our usual policies and industry best practice.”

‘Breach of our usual policies’

Heineken cooperated fully with the EA’s investigation and fully accepted its findings and reported that it had taken steps to tighten up its procedures.

Peter Kellett, legal director for the EA, said: “Enforcement undertakings allow those who commit offences to restore the environment and to take steps to prevent a recurrence.

“When appropriate, they allow a quicker resolution than a prosecution and help offenders who are prepared to take responsibility for their actions to put things right with their local communities.”

Companies that paid more than £1k for environmental health offences

  • Heineken UK Ltd (£160,000) for causing a pollution incident which killed fish.
  • Filippo Berio UK Ltd (£253,906.91) for failing to recover or recycle packaging waste.
  • Kerry Ingredients UK Ltd (£127,975) for causing a pollution incident which killed fish.
  • Anglian Water Services Ltd have made two separate payments (£100,000 and £100,000) both for causing pollution incidents which killed fish.
  • Northumbrian Water Ltd (£375,000) for pumping raw sewage into a tributary of the River Tyne.
  • Sandoz Ltd (£120,932.23) for failing to recover or recycle packaging waste.

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1 comment

pollution containment

Posted by David cole,

I worked with the EA on guidance CIRIA736 as a result of Buncefield. Many of my invention for containing, monitoring sites are used all over the world. pollution like this is 100% controllable but we still use reactive measures. Understand the problem. Contact me if you don't understand the guidance. Its too easy to ignore

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