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National Campaign

About UKWIN

UKWIN’s overarching mission is to bring about an end to the incineration of mixed waste. Our role includes helping individuals and groups develop the case against incineration and supporting networking and information between campaigners, and in doing so promote the UK-wide movement in favour of more sustainable waste/resource management.

The United Kingdom Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) is a network of anti-incineration campaigners coordinated through a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (Company No 06660486). UKWIN was founded in 2007 by anti-incineration groups, with the active support of Friends of the Earth, as an umbrella organisation for those opposing incineration because of adverse impacts on recycling, climate change, resource security, health and the environment. Since then we have worked with more than 150 local grassroots campaign groups and helped stop more than 70 incinerator proposals.

Nationally, UKWIN works to:

  • Make our expertise available to those wishing to: participate in environmental decisions relating to waste management, access environmental information, or pursue justice in environmental matters;
  • Advocate for economic, policy and legislative drivers to support sustainability in general, and more specifically the move away from incineration and towards a sustainable low-carbon circular economy; and
  • Highlight the social, environmental and economic issues associated with incineration, including through social media and our website, and by contributing to relevant public consultations, as well as through ongoing work with academics and journalists.
Some of the campaigners who attended UKWIN’s October 2019 national anti-incineration gathering.

What you can do

From time to time UKWIN calls upon our supporters to join together to take action, usually by writing to their MP or a relevant Government Minister. We also hold national gatherings of anti-incineration campaigners. To be keep up-to-date please join our mailing list:

Join the UKWIN mailing list

To join the UKWIN mailing list please e-mail coordinator@ukwin.org.uk with the subject “SUBSCRIBE”.

Also follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts and share our content where appropriate.

Current and recent campaigns and reports

Policy Suggestions for England’s Green Recovery

November 2020 UKWIN produced a report which sets out how action is needed to address the serious threats posed by waste incineration overcapacity, the burning of recyclable and compostable material, excess waste generation, and market failures caused by the price of incineration not reflecting its environmental and social harm.

UKWIN’s report sets out the case for England to: Introduce an immediate moratorium on new waste incineration capacity; Phase in an escalating incineration tax to complement the landfill tax; and Adopt meaningful municipal waste reduction targets for total and residual waste.

UKWIN will be hosting a Zoom meeting to discuss the report from 4pm on the 8th of December. It will be hosted by UKWIN and chaired by Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison, the Conservative MP for South West Wiltshire. The meeting will feature a presentation from Shlomo Dowen of UKWIN and John Grogan, who as a Labour MP was the primary sponsor of the cross-party Early Day Motion #581 which called for a moratorium of new waste incineration capacity.

Download UKWIN’s report Moving Away from Incineration Towards a Circular Economy: Policy Suggestions for England’s Green Recovery (November 2020)

Invite your MP to a Zoom meeting to discuss the suggestions which will take place on 8th December 2020.

Comments on waste infrastructure to inform the forthcoming National Infrastructure Strategy (August 2020)

August 2020 UKWIN’s submission to the UK Government calls for a moratorium on new waste incineration capacity and support for councils to renegotiate or
terminate their long-term waste contracts. The submission also critiques the Policy Connect report ‘No Time to Waste: Resources, recovery & the road to net zero’.
(July 2020).

Download UKWIN’s submission to inform the National Infrastructure Strategy

Moving Away from Incineration Towards a Circular Economy – UKWIN’s submission to inform Labour’s Green Recovery Programme (June 2020)

June 2020 UKWIN’s submission to The Labour Party’s National Policy Forum calls for a moratorium on new waste incineration capacity, the introduction of an incineration tax, and the introduction of national waste reduction targets. The submission was endorsed by Biofuelwatch, Sharon Hodgson MP, and John Grogan (former MP for Keighley and former member of EFRACOM).

View the page for UKWIN’s submission to inform Labour’s Green Recovery Programme

Download UKWIN’s submission to inform Labour’s Green Recovery Programme

Particulates Matter: Are emissions from incinerators safe to breathe? (December 2019)

December 2019 Analysis of answers to Parliamentary Questions about particulate matter emitted by municipal waste incinerators reveals misleading statements made by the Government about the health dangers posed by waste incinerators. Government Ministers omitted important caveats and provided incomplete information. By focusing their attention on the mass of particles released by incinerators instead of the number of particles released by incinerators the Government is failing to do their utmost to protect the public.

Download the ‘Particulates Matter’ report

Visit the Particulate Research Group (PRG) webpage

Smoke and Mirrors: exposing the reality of carpet ‘recycling’ in the UK (November 2019)

This briefing, launched in partnership with the UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) and Zero Waste Europe, explores the environmental performance of Carpet Recycling UK, a trade association founded by carpet manufacturers in the UK in 2008, with the goal of increasing landfill diversion. While the organisation has increased landfill diversion from 2% in 2008 to 44% in 2018, this report reveals that 73% of this diversion is incineration, at an approximate annual climate cost of £16.5 million to UK society. A further 22% of diverted carpet is shredded and used for equestrian arenas, while just 2% is recycled back into a non-shredded product from carpet fibres, and less than 1% is reused. This briefing exposes both a severe case of greenwash and the failure of voluntary industry initiatives to drive the transition towards circular economy. It calls on the UK government to implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation to shift the carpet industry towards green design and carpet-to-carpet recycling, and away from incineration, with its high climate costs. The briefing calls on CRUK and its members to join other progressive manufacturers and publicly support mandatory EPR to close the loop on the carpet industry.

Relevant links:

Introduction of an incineration tax and end to incineration subsidies (ongoing)

In line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle the environmental harm caused by incineration should be taxed, especially for the millions of tonnes of CO2 released by incinerators across the UK each year. UKWIN also calls for an end to subsidies for incineration, especially when the harms to incineration have yet to be reflected in the price of treatment.

Relevant links:

Westminster Hall incineration debate (February 2020)

On the 11th of February 2020 Members of Parliament attended a Westminster Hall backbench debate to discuss waste incineration. As with previous debates, UKWIN informed our members in advance of the meeting so that they could invite their MP to attend. Labour’s Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change Dr. Alan Whitehead declared at the debate that: “In general policy, we must recognise that the age of incinerators is over…It is imperative to recognise that to move up the waste hierarchy nationally, we need the resources to get away from incineration…We are at a turning point. The future is net zero; it cannot be incineration”.

At the debate the Government’s Minister Rebecca Pow stated that: “…the measures in the resources and waste strategy and the Environment Bill will enable a paradigm shift, in relation to reducing, reusing and recycling our waste, that should limit the amount that ever has to go to incineration and landfill” and that: “…if the wider policies set out in the resources and waste strategy do not deliver our waste ambitions, as laid out in the Environment Bill and the strategy, including higher recycling rates, the Government outlined in the 2018 Budget that we will consider introducing a tax on the incineration of waste, operating in conjunction with the landfill tax and taking account of the possible impact on local authorities”.

Relevant links:

Westminster Hall incineration debate (January 2020)

On the 28th of January 2020 Members of Parliament attended a Westminster Hall backbench debate to discuss waste incineration. MPs from Labour, the Conservative Party, and the DUP spoke out against incineration and in the Government’s response they stated that: “…we seek to minimise the amount of waste that goes to incineration or landfill, which certainly are at the bottom of the waste chain”. As with the April 2019, UKWIN informed our members in advance of the meeting so that they could invite their MP to attend.

Relevant Links:

Westminster Hall incineration debate (April 2019)

On the 9th of April 2019 Members of Parliament attended a Westminster Hall backbench debate to discuss waste incineration. In advance of that debate, UKWIN informed our network that the discussion would be taking place and that they could encourage their MP to take part. Despite the short notice and the restriction limiting speaking opportunities only to backbench MPs, many Members of Parliament from the Labour, Conservative and Democratic Unionist parties spoke out about incineration during the debate. Many other MPs let their constituents know that they would have attended had they been available.

Relevant links:

Early Day Motion for a moratorium on new waste incineration capacity (November 2017 – April 2019)

Early Day Motion (EDM) #581 of Session 2017-19 called for a moratorium on new waste incineration capacity due to the need to improve recycling rates and in recognition of the harms arising from incineration overcapacity. UKWIN provided for constituents to their local MP to let them know that they should sign the EDM and we provided supporting information setting out the case for a moratorium on new waste incineration capacity and the introduction of an incineration tax.

Despite the fact that many MPs do not sign EDMs (including some MPS who are unable to do so due to their positions as ministers or shadow ministers), between November 2017 and April 2019 the EDM was signed by MPs from across the political spectrum: Labour, Green, Conservative, DUP, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, SNP and Independent MPs all signed to support the motion. EDM #581’s primary sponsor was John Grogan, MP for Keighley.

Relevant links:

Introduction of an incineration tax and end to incineration subsidies

In line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle the environmental harm caused by incineration should be taxed, especially for the millions of tonnes of CO2 released by incinerators across the UK each year. UKWIN also calls for an end to subsidies for incineration, especially when the harms to incineration have yet to be reflected in the price of treatment.

Relevant links:

Reports and Briefings

Consultation Submissions and Calls for Evidence