The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) is investigating a ‘major’ accidental release of greenhouse gases at a Perth meat plant.

The watchdog said it was the second largest accidental release in the food and drink sector in Europe.  

SEPA identified the release of F-gases from meat producer Anglo Beef Processors UK at its Inveralmond site when it submitted its Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI) data returns for 2021.  

Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) are a family of chemicals that contain fluorine. They are also powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.   

SEPA said the accidental release represented 87% of the total Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions from all sectors in Scotland for 2021. 

It resulted in a significant increase in this pollutant (around 112%) compared to 2020.  

SEPA’s Carbon reduction, Energy and Industry team is investigating the cause of the release, which was related to the site’s refrigeration system. The site has now installed alternative refrigeration technologies. 

SEPA said it will determine whether any enforcement action is required as a result of its findings. 

Details of the accidental release emerged after SEPA published its Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI) data for 2021.