Burn waste to create energy

Energy lines

Waste-to-energy plants are becoming more common and are essentially harvesting the energy produced through burning waste (incineration). In the UK, almost 98% of the waste we burn is converted into energy – a process called ‘energy from waste’ (EfW).

In the UK, the proportion of local authority collected waste going to Energy from Waste (EfW) plants increased from 9% in 2000/01 to 41% in 2017/18.



  • Removes risk of leaching chemicals in landfills
  • Requires less space than landfill


  • Can release harmful particles
  • Produces carbon dioxide
  • Does not encourage recycling, development of recycling facilities or better recycling education
  • Destroys all good properties of the 'waste'

Making a difference

At a waste-to-energy plant outside London (Lakeside), they can provide electricity to 55,000 homes every year.

There are hundreds of other ways to solve plastic pollution

Photo Credit: Saad Sharif