Construction of large-scale incinerators that threaten the environment must be halted, a local politician has demanded.
Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, said no new industrial incinerators should be constructed in Scotland as part of growing calls to curb the use of single-use plastics.
His calls came at a Scottish Parliament debate on a possible moratorium on new furnaces being constructed, and though the motion was not voted through, Mr Ruskell said he has been promised talks with both the Energy and Environment Ministers to discuss the issue further.
He cited the recently-approved development at Westfield, near Kinglassie in Fife, as an example of how green energy plans can potentially be exploited by developers.
He said: “Incineration is not an acceptable way to deal with hard-to-treat domestic plastic waste.
“If waste is that difficult to recycle, we should not be producing it in the first place.”
Councillors approved plans by Hargreaves Services in October to develop Westfield into a green energy and industrial park, with the firm claiming up to 2,500 jobs could be created by the development.
However, subsequent plans for a natural gas-fuelled power station have drawn criticism, with Mr Ruskell claiming he application went against the spirit of the company’s green intentions for the site.
Hargreaves claims the power station is necessary to allow construction work to take place, with the company’s finance director Iain Cockburn insisting it is not deviating from its master plan objectives.
Mr Ruskell added: “I was happy to support a moratorium on incinerators, and although it was voted down the issue is not going away.
“At the moment there is a big gap in government policy that developers like Hargreaves are looking to exploit.
“Incinerators create pollution and because of their high demand for waste, they will stifle efforts to reduce the production of plastic packaging.
“Sites such as Westfield can be turned into areas that produce an abundance of Green energy which will make our communities, cleaner, healthier and more liveable.
“There is no place for large scale incineration in Fife.”