Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

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Removal of sector’s entitlement to red diesel is nothing more than a stealth tax

The British Metals Recycling Association is calling on the Treasury Department to accept that the removal of the sector’s entitlement to use red diesel is tantamount to a stealth tax given cleaner equipment, which is fit-for-purpose, does not yet exist. 

 

Removal of sector’s entitlement to red diesel is nothing more than a stealth tax f one two
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The BMRA believes that the Treasury’s insistence that the move is meant to incentivise the switch to “cleaner alternatives” is illogical on so many levels. Firstly, if the move was purely about reducing emissions, then simply removing the sector’s entitlement to use red diesel will not achieve this because plant powered by cleaner alternatives to diesel cannot be used safely and effectively in a hostile environment such as on a metal recycling site.

 Currently, electric alternatives need to be physically plugged into a power supply. This means ‘mobile’ plant either cannot move or it has to trail high voltage cables behind it – not practical on a busy site that deals with metals with sharp edges.

Moreover, the BMRA was very clear with Treasury that over 30% of metal recyclers are not connected to the grid or, if they are, they cannot draw enough power to operative large pieces of plant such as shears and fragmentisers.

When it comes to Treasury’s aim to bring about parity with other “road users” the BMRA contests that, unlike farming equipment, metal recycling plant and equipment does not use the road; it is necessarily site-based.

While the sector fully supports the Government’s drive to improve air quality, the BMRA is calling on the Government to recognise the role that metals recycling plays in protecting the environment. 

James Kelly, CEO of the BMRA commented:

“The removal of this sector’s red diesel entitlement before alternative plant and equipment exist could devastate the metals recycling industry. The knock-on effects would impact both the UK economy and could lead to deep ramifications for the environmental landscape across the UK.” Kelly continued: “Put simply, if the cost of processing outstrips the value of the metals, then the UK could face a situation where businesses turn away items such as end-of-life vehicles and waste electrical and electronic devices because it is not worth taking them in. In addition, the cost of processing materials could see end-users, such as the UK steel industry, facing significant price increases.”

To secure the future of metals recycling in the UK, to reduce potential environmental harms and to stop local councils having to pay clean-up costs, we are therefore asking the Government to a) give the sector more time to transition away from red diesel and b) consider setting up a grants scheme to enable operators to invest in new technologies.

Visit www.recyclemetals.org

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.