Plans to phase out the sale of coal and wet wood for domestic burning and encourage the use of cleaner fuels in the home have been confirmed by the government.
In response to the outcomes from its consultation, Air quality: using cleaner fuels for domestic burning, the government has announced that sales of coal and wet wood will be phased out between 2021 and 2023, giving the public and suppliers time to move to cleaner alternatives such as dry wood and manufactured solid fuels.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: "Cosy open fires and wood-burning stoves are at the heart of many homes up and down the country, 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. By moving towards the use of cleaner fuels such as dry wood we can all play a part in improving the health of millions of people.
"This is the latest step in delivering on the challenge we set ourselves in our world-leading Clean Air Strategy. We will continue to be ambitious and innovative in tackling air pollution from all sources as we work towards our goal to halve the harm to human health from air pollution by 2030."
Sales of all bagged traditional house coal will be phased out by February 2021, and the sale of loose coal direct to customers via approved coal merchants by February 2023.
Similarly, sales of wet wood in units of under 2m3 will be restricted from sale from February 2021, allowing for existing stocks to be used up. Wet wood sold in volumes greater than 2m3 will need to be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning from this date.
In line with feedback from the vast majority of respondents to the consultation, the government will also be placing a limitation on the use of manufactured solid fuels for domestic combustion. Manufacturers of such fuels will need evidence that they have a very low sulphur content and only emit a small amount of smoke, with all manufactured solid fuels needing to be labelled as compliant.
These regulations will apply in England only.
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