Ban on the sale of wet wood and coal

Ban on the sale of wet wood and coal

17 February 2021

From 21st February 2021, the government will ban the sale of pre-packaged bituminous house coal and wet wood in a bid to curb particulate matter (PM) emissions.

The pledge was a major part of the Clean Air Strategy which stated that solid fuels currently account for around 39% of all PM pollution in the UK and the ban on the sale of wet wood and coal would make a significant difference.

All sales of packaged wet wood and coal sold in single units that have a moisture content of more than 20% will be banned.

This action will reduce the environmental impact of burning wood at home in view of the climate emergency we’re facing. These new measures will help people make better fuel choices.

The government hopes that the ban on the sale of wet wood and coal will encourage owners of stoves and open fires to move to ‘cleaner’ alternatives.

Wood fuel users represent 7.5% of the UK population – with most based in the south east of the UK. 92% of all wood fuel users burn logs in stoves and open fires.

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 comparison, industry and road transport contributes 16% and 12%, respectively.

The government said: ‘To help improve the air we breathe and to ensure householders choose cleaner fuels, sales of coal and wet wood – the two most polluting fuels – 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.

There is no need for people to stop burning wood, it is about burning the right wood to tackle air pollution. The measures do not mean the end of cosy fires.

By switching to wood pellet burners, stoves and baskets, consumers can reduce PM2.5 emissions by 80%. This provides a real alternative so people can continue to enjoy an open fire or use a wood burning stove with significantly reduced air quality impact.

Is burning drier wood more expensive?

Smokeless fuel is generally more expensive but it burns for longer and the heat output per kilo is higher. In reality, the difference negligable. The ban on the sale of wet wood and coal will reduce costs in the long-run.

Woodlets – your safe alternative…

Biomass fuel is strictly regulated, and most burners emit less than half of the legal limit of particulates.

To carry on using your wood burning stove efficiently and effectively, try a wood pellet basket in your stove. Simply place the basket inside the stove or fire place and off you go. Pellets burn cleaner and longer than logs
and produce considerably less ash and residue.

…or try a wood pellet stove

Woodlets – the nations favourite wood pellet.