Burning rubbish shouldn’t be counted as “renewable energy”, according to a letter signed by industrial groups and environmental charities.

The group called on European Union member states to phase out subsidies for the incineration of mixed waste.

The letter said such subsidies had “distorted waste markets and thus discourage the separate collection of organics and other recyclables that do not receive subsidies”.

It added that the European Commission’s previous communication on waste-to-energy had highlighted the need to “focus on energy from separately collected biowaste, while gradually phasing out support schemes for the incineration of mixed waste”.

Biomass concerns

The letter also called on member states to agree on wording for the revised renewable energy directive to mitigate concerns over national subsidies for biomass “in the event that they would have significant distortive effects on raw material markets”.

The coalition wants the European Union to adopt direct reference to “avoid significant distortive effects on the raw material markets” and “member states should take into account available sustainable supply of biomass”.

The letter was signed by groups including the Confederation of European Paper Industries, the European Furniture Industries Federation and the European Producers of Laminate Flooring.

> Read the letter