Burning dunnage

Sets out the requirements you need to meet to burn waste plant tissue, or wood used to wedge or support ship’s cargo, away from the dockside without an environmental permit.


The disposal by burning of waste plant tissue and wood as required under a Plant Health notice: RPS 019

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


‘Dunnage’ is waste plant tissue or wood of any kind – including packaging material, spacers and pallets – used to wedge or support ship’s cargo.

For practical or logistical reasons, it is not always possible to burn all the waste plant tissue or wood at the dockside. Instead the waste is burnt at the place where the goods are delivered to, but this does not qualify for an exemption.

We are satisfied that there is no additional environmental risk to burning dunnage away from the docks provided it is done under a plant health notice issued by the Forestry Commission and meets the requirements in this guidance.

Published 27 March 2014