Scotland’s dry cleaning sector improves its environmental performance

22 January 2019

Article: 53/0307

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) is changing the way it regulates the dry cleaning sector in Scotland and new legal powers have allowed the agency to issue fines for non-compliance.

The fines have proven effective in changing behaviour and deterring those who damage the environment and undermine legitimate businesses.

Each operator is required to submit a data return each year to ensure that they complied with the limit of solvent that is set by EU guidelines.  Historically, many operators did not submit the data with fewer than 80% doing so in 2012.

In response, SEPA adopted a sector-based approach for the regulation of dry cleaners, moving to a national team with one dedicated staff member. This meant more time and effort could be spent supporting the dry cleaning sector. As a result, the number of operators submitting the required data rose to around 90% over the next few years.

Source: SEPA, 16 January 2019