Following the news that designer label Burberry has been burning £90m worth of its stock over the last five years, a Eunomia consultant believes this action could be illegal under environmental laws.
While the brand has admitted to destroying the unwanted items to prevent them being sold cheaply, it said that the energy generated from incineration of its products was captured, making it environmentally-friendly.
However, Eunomia principal consultant Peter Jones said that since 2011, all companies in the UK have been required to apply the waste hierarchy, meaning they have to take all reasonable steps to waste, either by reusing or recycling.
Only after these actions have been exhausted should companies consider landfill or burning, he said.
He added: “Every time a company has its waste collected, they have to declare that they are complying with the hierarchy. But it does not appear that Burberry is living up to its legal obligations. It’s up to the Environment Agency to enforce the law, and I call on them to investigate what has happened here. It’s a woeful situation and has to change if England is going to move towards a more circular economy.”