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BBC report on ban by DEFRA of certain woods and solid fuels

News & Events

BBC report on ban by DEFRA of certain woods and solid fuels

24 February 2020

A ban on Certain  wet woods and improper sold fuels has been announced by DEFRA. The BBC reports. 

“Wood burners: Most polluting fuels to be banned in the home” 21 February 2020

Owners of wood burners, stoves and open fires will no longer be able to buy house coal or wet wood, under a ban to be rolled out from next year.

Sales of the two most polluting fuels will be phased out in England to help cut air pollution, the government says.

Bags of logs sold in DIY stores, garden centres and petrol stations often contain wet wood - a type of wood which produces more pollution and smoke.

The public should move to "cleaner alternatives", the government says.

Plans for the ban were first announced 18 months ago, but the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has now confirmed it is going ahead.

The government said wood burning stoves and coal fires are the largest source of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), small particles of air pollution which find their way into the body's lungs and blood.

Particulate matter is one of several pollutants caused by industrial, domestic and traffic sources.

What does air pollution do to our bodies?

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"Cosy open fires and wood-burning stoves are at the heart of many homes up and down the country," said Environment Secretary George Eustice.

"But the use of certain fuels means that they are also the biggest source of the most harmful pollutant that is affecting people in the UK."

The changes will mean:

Sales of bagged traditional house coal will be phased out by February 2021, and the sale of loose house coal direct to customers will end by 2023

Sales of wet wood in small units (less than 2m cube) will be phased out from February 2021. Wet wood in volumes greater than 2m cube will also have to be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning

Makers of solid fuels will also need to show they have a very low sulphur content and only emit a small amount of smoke.

It is not banning wood or coal burning stoves.

Similar proposals to reduce the burning of wood and coal are being considered in Wales and Scotland.

Wood can be dried in a kiln or in the air, and then stored,

Gillian Lloyd from the West Midlands  told BBC News she welcomed the meqasures, as her asthma is often triggered by smoke and many homes in her area feature woodburniner. 

However, she raised concerns over the impact of the changes, saying people may continue to burn wet wood.

"A lot of people collect cut trees or fallen branches for their burners," she said.

Read the full article on the BBC webiste.