Waste tax will not help increase utilisation of forest industry waste

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Taxation cannot reduce the amount of waste the forest industry produces because only material, which cannot be utilised viably, is sent to landfills.

In future, growth in the utilisation of renewable energy will create more and more wood ash. At the same time, using ash, which is created by the clean burning of wood and peat, as a fertiliser and for earth construction is being legislatively restricted to an unreasonable extent.

We support the view of the Environment Committee of the Parliament of Finland, according to which the appropriateness of the maximum limits imposed on ash use should be examined. For example, by creating more opportunities for ash fertilisation, it is possible to return the nutrients contained in wood ash back into forests more effectively than is now the case.

The utilisation of ash must be made easier also because it promotes the reduction of landfill waste. The waste tax applies to materials that have a utilisation alternative, which replaces landfill dumping. Legislative restrictions prevent the full-scale utilisation of the ash, which the forest industry creates, but it is nevertheless subject to waste taxation.

Voluntary measures implemented by the forest industry have enabled it to halve the amount of landfill waste it creates over the last decade. All waste types that are technically and economically utilisable are either recycled or used for the generation of energy.

Further information:
Tiina Vuoristo, Senior Advisor (Environment), Finnish Forest Industries Federation,
tel. +358 9 132 6624, +358 40 542 5365

Stefan Sundman, Energy and Infrastructure Director, Finnish Forest Industries Federation, tel. +358 9 132 66 11, +358 40 535 0501