LONDON (April 11, 3 p.m. ET) — Peter Davis, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) director-general, has challenged the government to “get off the fence” when it comes to promoting the benefits of energy from waste (EFW).
In a letter published in The Times newspaper on April 11, Davis, who is also a partner in EFW UK, claimed that contrary to reports, there was “no revolt” against EFW facilities across the United Kingdom.
“And there won't be one if local councils consult in depth on proposals so as to ensure the whole community understands the benefits, rather than just engage with head-in-the-sand local groups,” he wrote.
Davis was responding to an article published by The Times on April 9, which claimed that “millionaires and local activists have joined forces across Britain to fight proposals for scores of huge incinerators.”
The article said proposals to build 80 EFW plants, to add to the 30 already operating, had pitted council against council, while local people and celebrity residents, fearful of the sites' local environmental impact, were also up in arms at the plans.
But Davis argued that with landfill sites in England and Wales expected to reach their capacity limits within six years, EFW was a viable alternative to dealing with the nation's rubbish.
“The UK also has a growing energy crisis with supply not equaling demand from 2017,” a situation he said was made worse by the stalled nuclear power station building program. “EFW can provide 11 percent of our energy needs from unrecyclable waste,” he added.
Pointing to Europe, notably Denmark's much greater EFW capacity than the UK's, Davis wrote that the Continental experience “shows that higher recycling rates are not negatively affected by increased energy from waste.”
Davis slammed what he called the UK government's “timidity” when it came to promoting the benefits of EFW.
“It should get off the fence, and waste management companies should invest in good architecture for plants with visitor facilities,” he concluded.