AN ESTABLSIHED tech company has been ordered to pay out thousands to charity after admitting a decade of 'recycling errors'.

Softcat plc, based in Marlow, is among three companies that have been pulled up for their poor practice regarding recycling.

The Environment Agency has called out Softcat plc, Sazerac UK Ltd, and La-Z-Boy UK Ltd for failing to comply with the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 (as amended), which ensure that businesses fund the recycling of the packaging waste that they place on the UK market.

The well-known IT infrastructure and services provider in Marlow, has pledged £35,803.99 to The National Trust, after failing to comply with the law for more than a decade.

Just across the border, iconic furniture brand La-Z-Boy UK Limited, based in Maidenhead, will give £5,736.89 to Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, due to non-compliance in 2020.

Alcoholic drinks giant Sazerac UK Limited, based in Hampton Wick, will contribute £45,088.49 to Surrey Wildlife Trust after failure to comply from 2017 to 2019.

All three companies recognised their failure to comply with regulations and take reasonable steps to recover and recycle packaging waste.

The failings meant the businesses also avoided paying a charge based on how much packaging they got through in the same period.

Environment Agency senior technical officer, Jake Richardson, said: “Any company handling more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year, and with a turnover of above £2 million, must register with the Environment Agency or a packaging compliance scheme, and meet their responsibilities for recycling waste packaging.

“If companies fail to meet their obligations under environmental law, we will take action to ensure that they change their ways.”

Following the enforcement action, the three firms agreed to register with a compliance scheme, to revise internal processes, and assign a responsible person.

Mr Richardson added: "The companies also agreed to take measures to ensure they comply with their packaging waste responsibilities in the future.

“As well as the charitable contributions, they paid the Environment Agency’s full costs.

“We’re satisfied that they won’t repeat their mistakes.”

As a result of the civil sanctions, a total of almost £87,000 will be paid to the charities to help provide and protect local wildlife habitats and wetland areas, and improve people’s access to and enjoyment of these places.