Stop, Sort, Burn, Bury - incineration in the waste hierarchy: independent review

Report and supporting documents relating to the Independent Review of the Role of Incineration in the Waste Hierarchy in Scotland.

Annex B - Policy Context

Current Policies

In conducting the analysis and considering its recommendations, the Review considered the relevant policy landscape. For example, whether Scottish Government has policies that will result in changes to the residual waste stream.

The Scottish Government has set several targets related to resources and waste for 2025, including:

  • Reducing the amount of waste produced by 15% compared to 2011 levels
  • Reducing food waste by one third by 2025 (against a 2013) baseline, supported by the Food Waste Reduction Action Plan[93].
  • recycling 70% of all waste by the same year
  • Ending the practice of landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) and
  • Landfilling less than 5% of remaining waste.

In addition, the Scottish Government has agreed to extend the Ban to include biodegradable non-municipal waste, subject to appropriate consultation and work to provide assurance around some specific waste streams

The Scottish Government's Climate Change Plan sets out a target of ending Scotland's contribution to climate change and reduce emissions by 75% by 2030 and finally to net zero by 2045. To achieve this target the waste sector has a target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) by 2025 and 0.8 MtCO2e by 2030 from the current baseline of 1.9 MtCO2e per year. However, the waste sector emissions do not include incineration as these are reported through the power sector.

There are several implemented and planned policies that are applicable to this review including:

  • Scottish landfill tax applies at two different rates, a standard rate and a lower rate for less polluting materials[94].
  • A ban on the landfilling BMW from 31 December 2025.
  • Extending this ban to include biodegradable non-municipal waste, subject to appropriate consultation and impact assessments[95].
  • Implementing a Deposit Return Scheme by 16 August 2023[96]
  • Working with UK Government to implement reforms to the Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme.

The Climate Change Plan also notes the Scottish Government also intends to develop a route map to achieve its waste and recycling targets and how the waste and resources sector will contribute towards net zero up to 2030 and beyond[97].



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