RDF Industry Group calls for withdrawal of Dutch waste import tax plans

Port of Rotterdam
05.09.2019 − 

The European RDF Industry Group wants the Dutch government to walk back plans for a tax on waste imports destined for incineration or landfilling. The body, which represents businesses across the RDF (refuse-derived fuel) supply chain, warned that a tax on waste imports would increase CO2 emissions, rather than decrease them as intended. It also criticised the proposals as ill-founded, saying that there was a "significant lack of evidence” supporting them. The call was made with a sense of urgency as implementation is set for less than five months from now, leaving the industry with little time to adapt.

The plans criticised by the industry group belong to measures announced by the Dutch government in order to comply with a court order requiring it to cut CO2 emissions. The tax, which is expected to stand at €32 per tonne, would change the economics of RDF exports, particularly for waste from the UK, and could make landfilling more attractive. The RDF Industry Group projects that around 1.4 million tonnes per year of RDF will be landfilled rather than exported if the tax is put in place, resulting in additional emissions of around 370,000 tonnes of CO2e annually.

Robert Corijn, Chair of the RDF Industry Group, said that the Dutch government was undermining wider attempts to reduce carbon emissions by not taking into account the significant leakage effects that the proposed waste import tax will have. "There are European-wide targets for carbon reduction and the perverse effects of diverting waste from combined heat and power to landfill is of major concern for those nations which export waste," he added.

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