Soap and fragrance maker Lush is to finance anti-incinerator campaigns.
The company has given £5,000 to campaigners against MVV Umwelt’s proposed energy from waste plant at Whitecleave (site shown above), near Buckfastleigh, Devon, and more such donations are planned as part of a campaign against incinerators in general.
A Lush spokeswoman said: “Lush is very concerned about the new wave of incinerators and the lack of a coherent plan on dealing with the resultant toxic waste.
“We like to fund small community groups fighting David and Goliath battles against unsustainable development. We were very impressed with the [Buckfastleigh Community] Forum’s well executed campaign, their understanding of national sustainability issues, and the obvious support they enjoy in the local community.”
It said it would examine all applications for funding on a case-by-case basis.
The plant was refused planning permission last year against council officers’ advice and MVV lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate. This is due to be heard over three weeks, starting in late June.
An Environmental Services Association spokesman said: “Lush is a company with a strong environmental reputation and it is clearly a matter for it to whom it chooses to donate funds.
“But we would hope they had looked carefully at what is a complex issue. Incinerator bottom ash (IBA) processing and reuse is carried out under Environment Agency regulation and plays a large part in reducing the volume of waste going to landfill.
“In 2011 nearly one million tonnes of IBA was reused in a number of construction applications to replace primary aggregates extracted from quarries.”
Defra published its long-awaited energy from waste guidance in February of this year.
On the subject of IBA, it stated: “Following combustion the ash typically has a small amount of ferrous metals contained within it. This ash can be processed to standardise the material and remove contaminants in order for it to be used as an aggregate.”
The Chartered Institute of Wastes Management declined to comment.