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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “SUBSCRIBE”.
Current and recent campaigns
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 focussing 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.
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.
- The ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ report on the carpet industry (November 2019)
- Shlomo Dowen’s Blog Post for Zero Waste Europe on the campaign (December 2019)
- Press Release: ‘Transition to a toxic-free circular economy in the carpet industry still a distant reality, despite industry initiative – European Commission needs to set up EPR scheme as part of the European Green Deal’ (January 2020)
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.
- Budget threatens an incineration tax (UKWIN article, October 2018)
- Letter to HM Treasury: Estimate of revenue that could be raised by internalising environmental externalities through an incineration tax (UKWIN, August 2018)
- Supporting information for EDM #581 (UKWIN, July 2018) – has a page on the need for an incineration tax)
- Incineration Tax Briefing (UKWIN, October 2017)
- Renewable Energy Subsidies in the UK: the case for excluding bioenergy and waste incineration (UKWIN and Biofuelwatch, February 2016)
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”.
- UKWIN account of the Westminster Hall debate (including Quotes / Tweets from various MPs) (UKWIN, February 2020)
- Video of the debate (Parliament TV, February 2020, watch from the start)
- Transcript of the debate (Hansard, February 2020)
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.
- UKWIN account of the Westminster Hall debate (including Quotes / Tweets from various MPs) (UKWIN, January 2020)
- Video of the debate (Parliament TV, January 2020) – watch from 16:30
- Transcript of the debate (Hansard, January 2020)
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.
- UKWIN account of the Westminster Hall debate (including Quotes / Tweets from various MPs) (UKWIN, April 2019)
- Video of the debate (Parliament TV, April 2019)
- Transcript of the debate (Hansard, April 2019)
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.
- Early Day Motion #581 (Parliament; shows the text of the motion and which MPs signed it)
- Supporting information for EDM #581 (UKWIN, July 2018)
Reports and Briefings
- Particulates Matter: Are emissions from incinerators safe to breathe? (PRG, December 2019)
- Smoke and Mirrors: exposing the reality of carpet ‘recycling’ in the UK (Changing Markets, November 2019)
- Examples of incineration harming recycling (UKWIN, July 2019)
- Evaluation of the climate change impacts of waste incineration in the United Kingdom (UKWIN, October 2018)
- Bin the Burners: Removing Barriers to a Circular Economy (UKWIN, July 2018)
- Critique of ‘Cory Riverside Energy: A Carbon Case’ (UKWIN, December 2017)
- Gasification Failures in the UK: Bankruptcies and Abandonment (UKWIN, November 2016)
- Emissions Dispersion Modelling Appraisal (Tim Hill, UKWIN, June 2016)
- Guide to judicial review in the incinerator context (Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors, August 2013)
- Climate Change Impacts of Residual Waste Treatment (Ann Ballinger, Eunomia, July 2011)
Consultation Submissions and Calls for Evidence
- EFRACOM inquiry into plastic food and drink packaging (UKWIN, September 2019)
- BEIS consultation on proposed amendments to the Contracts for Difference scheme (UKWIN, March 2018)
- HCLGCOM inquiry into the implications of the Waste Strategy for Local Authorities inquiry – Rebuttal of ESA evidence (UKWIN, June 2019)
- HCLGCOM inquiry into the implications of the Waste Strategy for Local Authorities inquiry – Initial submission (UKWIN, June 2019)
- Defra consultation on reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system (UKWIN, May 2019)
- National Infrastructure Commission’s Consultation on a National Infrastructure Assessment: ‘Congestion, Capacity, Carbon: Priorities for National Infrastructure’ (UKWIN, January 2018)
- London Assembly’s Environment Committee investigation into London’s waste generation, handling and disposal (UKWIN, July 2017)
- BEIS’ call for evidence on fuelled and geothermal technologies in the Contracts for Difference scheme (UKWIN, December 2016)
- Ministry of Justice Costs Consultation (UKWIN, November 2015)
- HCLGCOM investigation into the operation of the National Planning Policy Framework (UKWIN, December 2014)
- EFRACOM inquiry into Waste Management in England (UKWIN, October 2014)
- National Audit Office call for evidence regarding Defra’s oversight of the Waste PFI Programme (UKWIN, November 2013)
- Ministry of Justice consultation on proposed for reform to judicial review (UKWIN, October 2013)
- Draft Aarhus National Implementation Report (UKWIN, October 2013)
- European Commission consultation on the Green Paper on Plastic Waste (UKWIN, June 2013)
- Defra’s Call for Evidence to inform the UK Government’s Review of Waste Policies (UKWIN, October 2010)