UK: Stroud MP David Drew supports call to ban burning plastics

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Photo: Community R4C

The politician has written to the Environment Agency to endorse Community R4C’s campaign to halt burning plastics and other recyclables at the Javelin Park incinerator.

David Drew’s letter urges the Environment Agency to investigate and to issue a stop and compliance notice under the terms of the legislation, to make sure the waste hierarchy is respected. The Environment Agency has confirmed that in the eight years since the legislation was introduced it has not yet issued such a notice anywhere in the United Kingdom.

Community R4C and other community groups like Extinction Rebellion have long opposed the controversial incinerator project on environmental and financial grounds. Now, supported by Mr Drew, who is the Shadow Cabinet Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, they say Javelin Park is breaking the law and are insisting that the Environment Agency enforce the 2011 Waste Regulations Act.

The Act is intended to ensure an environmentally friendly approach to waste treatment by observing the so-called Waste Hierarchy.This promotes sustainability by ranking waste management processes from best to worst. At the top is preventing waste all together, then reducing, then reusing, followed by recycling, then energy recovery and only last, and worst, disposal. Community R4C and its supporters claim the current Javelin Park waste disposal process does not adhere to its guidance.

Drew’s letter to the Environment Agency states: “The issue is of national as well as local significance. The government’s waste strategy seeks to manage waste ‚in the most resource-efficient way possible, in keeping with the waste hierarchy’, and it aims for ‚waste to be managed in the most appropriate way to ensure that environmental impacts are minimised, and that the resource value extracted is maximised.”

Tom Jarman, co-founder of Community R4C said: “Over 65 per cent of the electricity generated by the Javelin Park incinerator is likely to come from the burning of plastic. Plastic is a fossil fuel derived from oil and burning it like this, at very poor efficiency levels close to 20 per cent, is far worse for CO2 emissions than even the worst coal -fired power plants. This flies in the face of Government policy which now recognises the climate emergency and is committing to reach zero carbon by 2050. Apart from plastic, we estimate that over half of the residual waste going into the Javelin Park incinerator is economically recyclable. They need to pre-sort and recycle the waste and act in line with the waste hierarchy and 2011 Waste Regulation Act.”

About Community R4C

Community R4C is a Community Benefit Society based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. In 2016, Community R4C raised almost £100,000 in a groundbreaking Community Share Scheme to facilitate its aims including the building of an alternative waste resource recovery plant – the R4C plant – in cooperation with investors and partners.

Source: Community R4C

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