Bootleg alcohol helps government hit green target

The UK Home Office is using confiscated alcohol for electricity production to help it meet government environmental targets.

counterfeit alcoholIn order “to reduce the environmental impact of their disposal”, the contraband alcoholic products that are seized each year and stored in the Queen’s Warehouses are now being put through anaerobic digestion in order to extract methane, which is then used to generate electricity.

Combined with other initiatives, the scheme helped the Home Office to achieve a 16% reduction in waste in 2011/12 compared to 2009/10, still some way short of the government’s target of 25% by 2015.

Total savings from the government’s environmental blitz, which also covers the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption, were estimated at nearly £50 million last year.

Other schemes have included an online “swap shop” for HMRC staff, getting prisoners to sort through waste for recyclable material and shredding fake trainers to create a surface for racehorse training.

Introducing the programme’s first progress report, Oliver Letwin MP, minister for government policy, said: “Britain is in a global race and Whitehall cannot afford to waste a single penny so I’m pleased to see the way departments have responded to our challenge to cut their environmental waste, benefiting both the taxpayer and the environment itself.

“We made a bold commitment to be the greenest government ever and whilst there is still a long way to go on saving money and energy usage, today’s progress report shows we are on track to make that a reality.”

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