The United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) has today launched their new website at http://ukwin.org.uk/ helping support those groups and individuals campaigning to stop the slide towards the UK burning rather than making best use of our resources.
There are currently 62 municipal waste incinerators in the UK with a combined capacity of around 17 million tonnes. In 2017/18 more than 42 per cent of England’s Local Authority Collected Waste was incinerated. Dozens more incinerators are proposed across the country, and these proposals are being opposed by UKWIN and its network of members who want to see more reduction, re-use and recycling instead.
UKWIN was founded in 2007 as an umbrella organisation to support those opposing waste incineration. Opposition to incineration arises because people are concerned about how much recyclable material is being burned, and about the greenhouse gasses emitted when waste is burned, the harm caused by incineration to local air and soil quality, the huge public expense of building new incinerators, and the high level of secrecy that surrounds long-term incinerator contracts. Such contracts can often provide perverse financial incentives that favour the incineration of material that could and should otherwise have been recycled or composted.
UKWIN’s website features a new design and layout, fresh content, improved functionality, and better support for mobile devices and tablets. The website clearly and simply sets out the case against incineration, whilst providing detailed advice and guidance for local campaigners. The site explains UKWIN’s national campaign efforts, and includes an interactive map of incinerators that signposts to local campaign groups, alongside a new page that features some useful facts and figures, including about the £350 million of unpaid cost to society arising from the adverse climate change impact of incinerating plastics and other fossil fuels.
Speaking about the launch, UKWIN’s Associate Coordinator Josh Dowen explains how: “There is so much that is wrong about incineration and such an abundance of evidence to support the case against it that it can be hard for people to know where to start. It is great that we have had this opportunity to put decades of knowledge and experience at the fingertips of anyone who wants to learn more, whether they are environmental campaigners, journalists, politicians or curious members of the public.”
Commenting on the work of UKWIN and the new website Sam Chetan-Welsh, Political Campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “We applaud the hard work of the hundreds of volunteers who campaign so passionately against the scandalous burning of our waste. UKWIN’s new website helps equip campaigners with the tools that they need to help bring about a more circular economy and a greener, better future. The launch is well timed, as there is a real opportunity at the moment for politicians to pledge support for measures such an incineration tax, a moratorium on new incineration capacity, and legally-binding reduction targets that radically reduce our use of single-use plastic.”