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Print firm fined for turning river purple

Ablebox Ltd was fined after 50 buckets’ worth of waste ink were poured into a drain before entering the River Yeo. Locals then complained after seeing odd discolouration along a 4km stretch of the river, downstream of the Pen Mill Trading Estate in Yeovil.  

The Environment Agency traced the leak back to the Ablebox premises where it saw waste ink being poured into a drain, along with inappropriately stored containers of waste ink and spill kits full of soiled absorbents.

According to the EA, an employee was found to have dumped the ink. The employee claimed management told him to dispose of the waste ink due to the lack of storage space, though Applebox Ltd said he did so without its knowledge.

"Businesses must never pour any waste down surface water drains as they are often connected to nearby streams or rivers," says Oliver Hill, for the Environment Agency.

"By disposing of waste in this way you are committing a criminal offence. This prosecution serves as a timely reminder for businesses to act responsibly. Where we have evidence, we won’t hesitate to prosecute offenders."

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