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Plan to build plastic-to-hydrogen plant axed

How the plant would have looked

A proposed £20m facility to turn plastic waste into hydrogen has been dropped by the developer after the Scottish Government overturned a decision by the local council to approve the plant.

Peel L&P received backing from Labour-controlled West Dunbartonshire Council in June to build an incinerator at Rothesay Dock, Clydebank.

But Scottish Government Minister for the Circular Economy and Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater announced at the time that the government no longer supports the development of new incinerators. 

Peel said the moratorium was “one of the key drivers in our decision to withdraw the application.”

Scottish Greens MSP for West Scotland Ross Greer said: “This is a significant win for the local community, who campaigned brilliantly against these deeply unwelcome plans.

“It is also proof that the Scottish Government’s new policy of not supporting new incinerators, delivered by the Scottish Greens, is already having a positive impact on our climate.

“This application was the first test of the new policy, and it’s clear that the message is clearly getting through already – Scotland does not need more incinerators. I hope that other companies take note.

“I have to say though, the decision of a Labour-run council to support the application does confuse me. This is the opposite of the anti-incineration position which Labour claims to hold nationally. Whatever mess they are in, the Scottish Greens have ensured that the community and the climate are protected from these plans.”

He added: “There is nothing green about burning plastic to produce hydrogen. This is an unproven, expensive and deeply questionable process. Far better instead to recycle plastic bottles, which is what my Scottish Green colleague Lorna Slater, as a Minister of the Scottish Government, is focused on.”

“Scotland is on a clear journey to protect our communities, our environment and our climate, and this welcome news should send a clear signal to any other companies seeking to keep us dependent on dirty fossil fuels.”

Richard Barker, development director at Peel, said: “Our plans for north Clyde would have provided much needed infrastructure for processing plastics that can’t be recycled, creating a local source of hydrogen that could be used as an alternative clean fuel for HGVs, buses and cars.

“This could have helped contribute to the Scottish Government’s mission to decarbonise our communities and economies to reach net zero.”

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