Harsher penalties are being introduced for environmental crimes, including the incorrect disposal of mercury-containing fluorescent lamps.
The Sentencing Council has advised judges to hand down harsher sentences to individuals and companies convicted of environmental crimes.
It is the first time a guideline has been produced for these types of offences. The harshest fines of up to £3 million are recommended for large businesses that knowingly contravene the law, while individuals who knowingly break the law could face jail terms of up to three years.
The guideline covers offences where there is a risk of causing pollution or harm to health.
The new guidelines apply the highest offence category to hazardous chemicals. Given that waste fluorescent lamps are classified as hazardous, this means that all those collecting or transporting waste lamps should double check that they are following legal requirements.
More importantly, the risks to any individuals or companies who knowingly fly tip or dispose of waste lamps inappropriately are now much higher.