The Government’s consultation ‘Tackling the plastic problem: Using the tax system or charges to address single-use plastic waste’ closed yesterday. Commenting on the consultation the exchequer secretary Robert Jenrick has been quoted in The Times as stating that: “A number of submissions have advocated a tax on the incineration of waste. There is an argument for changing the incentives to discourage putting further waste to incineration. We would like to see less plastic incinerated, sent to landfill or exported and more recycled.”

Reacting to this, Shlomo Dowen, the National Coordinator of the United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN), said: “It is a scandal that for so many years the public has effectively been subsiding the incineration of recyclable and avoidable plastics. The introduction of a tax on the incineration of plastic is long overdue. Such a tax would mean the price of incineration would more closely reflect the climate cost to society of burning these fossil fuels. UKWIN welcomes the news that the Government is considering such a tax which would send a clear signal that we should be shifting investment away from incineration towards reduction, reuse and recycling.”

UKWIN views an incineration tax as a sensible measure to encourage the investment in collection, sorting, education and processing needed to boost recycling, and to discourage the incineration of materials that would be recycled if the appropriate infrastructure were in place.

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