Landfill tax: when is waste just a lot of fluff?

The first environmental law case decision of the new decade concerns a question that has been troubling the environmental sector for past five decades: when is something a waste?

In Devon Waste Management Ltd and others v HMRC ([2020] UKUT 0001 (TCC)) a landfill operator argued that certain black-bag waste that had been selected to line the cells and protect the cell liner, known in the industry as ‘fluff’, was not subject to landfill tax. When used in this way, the fluff provides a buffer between the cell membrane and the heterogenous wastes that fill the landfill. 

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