Company fined over ‘misleading’ Welwyn Garden City charity collections

PUBLISHED: 06:25 31 May 2012

Archant

A RECYCLING company which distributed charity collection bags in Welwyn Garden City that were not quite what they seemed has been ordered to pay more than £2,200.

GT Recycling Initiatives Ltd was fined £1,000 after pleading guilty to misleading consumers that its collection bags were authorised by a charity when they were not.

Two charges were brought by Hertfordshire Trading Standards under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Magistrates heard the collection bags, which were distributed on two occasions in WGC, indicated a charity would benefit from items collected.

While the charity had an agreement with GT Recycling, the agreement had ended.

However, the bags with their name and logo were still distributed –even following advice from Trading Standards.

In mitigation the company stated the charity continued to receive financial donations from the use of its bags.

It conceded the bags should have been withdrawn and that its efforts to do this had not been good enough.

The company had now taken advice and new systems had been put into practice to ensure distributors only had a weekly supply of bags and stockpiling of bags could not occur.

County councillor Richard Thake, cabinet member for community safety, said: “The public have a right to know that items that they put into collection bags will benefit the charity named on the bag.

“If you have any concerns about this you should contact the charity and check that the collections are really being done on their behalf.”

The company was also ordered by Watford magistrates to pay prosecution costs of £1,286.40.

The collection bags seized by Trading Standards were ordered to be destroyed.

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