SUPPLEMENTARY MEMORANDUM BY WASTEPACK
I am writing to provide supplementary evidence
to the Environment Sub-committee's inquiry into Delivering Sustainable
In November 2000 Wastepack submitted written
evidence to the Committee's inquiry into Sustainable Waste Management.
Since that time we have further developed our views on the issue
of waste incineration, specifically in relation to its potentially
damaging impact on recycling, and have views on how policy can
be developed to avoid this.
As you may recall, Wastepack group comprises
Wastelink; waste facility management; Wastepack Compliance and
Wastepack Recyclate management and is expanding in all three areas.
We have recently received a significant investment of City capital,
providing a strong basis for our future investment in recycling.
Wastepack Compliance is the UK's second largest packaging waste
compliance scheme and in 2001 we will be responsible for the recycling
of around 400,000 tonnes of packaging waste.
We are concerned that waste incineration burns
recyclable material. This is exactly the material which Wastepack
and other recycling organisations need to be recycling as part
of our contribution to the UK meeting its waste recovery targets.
Incineration may not be a proven means of meeting EU Directive
obligations in the future. We believe it to be an anomaly that
while there is a tax on landfill, there is no similar policy which
aims to tackle the diversion of recyclable waste into incineration
and thus support the Government's commitment "to substantial
increases in recycling rates"
as set out in Waste Strategy 2000.
We therefore propose that the Committee should
consider the value of the introduction of a tax on the recyclable
element of waste going into incineration, as recognised by the
UK Environment Agency's guidelines.
We believe that such a tax would be an important
step in ensuring an economic framework in which recyclable material
will make its way to being recycled. In addition, although I do
not wish to discuss concerns about the potential public health
implications of incineration in any detail, we believe that such
a tax would also go some way towards recognising the environmental
costs of waste incineration.
I understand that such a tax, and any resulting
diversion of recyclable material from incineration, will affect
the calorific value of waste going into incineration. However,
we also have ideas about the ways in which this calorific value
can be replaced and we would be happy to explain these in more
detail to the Committee if this would be of value.
I know that this evidence is arriving late in
the Committee's consideration of its views, but given the importance
that we place on this issue, and that we are calling for the development
of a specific policy, I thought it especially important to provide
the Committee with details of our proposal.
Barry van Danzig
49 Waste Strategy 2000, Part 2, paragraph 5.20 (p 69). Back