WARNINGS have been issued that “the burden of opposing new incinerators” has been placed back onto local councils after Scottish ministers delayed any action on halting the burning of waste until a review is completed.

Greens minister Lorna Slater announced on Thursday that a review will take place into the use of incinerators – with evidence not being reported back until after March next year.

The move comes after soaring levels of waste being burnt in Scotland – completely at odds with a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2045.

Labour led criticism of the lack of a moratorium on waste incinerators being announced – despite being a Greens’ manifesto promise.

Friends of the Earth Scotland labelled the lack of action a “burners’ charter”.

READ MORE: Scottish Greens under fire for waste incineration u-turn 'embarrassment'

Ms Slater’s party colleague, Mark Ruskell, has called for councils, who he said “have been all too keen to build even more waste-hungry incinerators”, to stop approving facilities.

Mr Ruskell has also hit back at criticism by Labour – pointing to many authorities led by Anas Sarwar’s party where incineration has soared.

He said: “The failure before we entered government was a lack of leadership on incineration, which led to a free-for-all where councils, many led by Labour, looked to incineration as a quick fix to waste management.

“Now we have a major review, I encourage them to be more constructive in helping us build a more circular economy, so that instead of locking us into decades of incineration, councils can tell us what they need to improve waste management.

READ MORE: Waste incineration soars by 400% under the SNP

“Now that the future of incineration is in question, councils should halt their incineration plans and look instead at how they can support a circular economy.”

But Labour’s net zero, energy and transport spokesperson, Monica Lennon, has criticised the Greens pointing the finger at local councils.

She said: “It is deeply disappointing to see the Scottish Greens place the burden of opposing new incinerators back onto local councils and the public.

“Had it not been for the Greens abandoning their promise of a moratorium on incinerators then councils would not be put in this position.

“We know that without a formal moratorium, more and more applications for the creation of new incinerators will land on the desks of council officials.”

READ MORE: Friends of the Earth warns Greens' 'burners' charter' will see rush of incineration bids

She added: “Until we have a proper moratorium, the risk of new, polluting incinerators remains real.

“While the Greens are happy to backtrack on their promises, Scottish Labour will continue to fight for a moratorium on all incinerators in the lead up to COP26.”

A spokesperson for Cosla, the umbrella organisation for Scottish councils, said: “Cosla is clear that the elimination of waste and the smarter use of resource to improve recycling and reuse are critical to a just transition to net zero.

“We are keen the see the outcome of the review of the future of incinerators.”