Fletchers reflect on the removal of red diesel

Fletchers reflect on the removal of red diesel

As the date approaches for the Government’s removal of red diesel, we can’t help but feel a little deflated at the uncertainty it will bring. Moreover, the removal of red diesel appears to have been accelerated by current market forces, and supplies have pretty much dried up now, two weeks ahead of the 1st April deadline.

The UK government announced changes to the use of red diesel during the 2020 Budget as part of the drive to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This came at a time when we were all also being asked to recycle more and bring sustainability to the core of our businesses.

Improved recycling rates and sustainability will always be a continued goal for us. Still, we have to be upfront that achieving these sustainability goals and preparing for the removal of red diesel has not been an easy process, particularly whilst at the same time dealing with Covid and Brexit.

Switching to white diesel will obviously come at a cost, one which has increased further over the last two weeks as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. Fletchers, along with everyone else in the sector, will be replacing red diesel supplies at 69p/per litre in December 2021 with white diesel at maybe £1.90/per litre; we use tens of thousands of litres of red diesel a month!

Although the Treasury felt there was no “compelling evidence” that removing red diesel would impact the cost of recycling, the above numbers clearly indicate that this is not the case.

Furthermore, the National Insurance increases and general inflationary pressures, combined with the removal of red diesel, will inevitably have to be passed on to customers to continue offering our services at the same high level.

We had hoped for a delay in the Government’s red diesel changes; however, now more than ever, we feel support should be directed towards funding for new zero-carbon vehicles. We are on board with their environmental benefits as a business, but the whole waste industry can’t make a permanent shift away from fossil fuels unaided.

Please join us in signing this petition for the Government to delay the reform of rebated fuels so that it gives the construction and waste industry time to bounce back after the pandemic.